Thursday, December 29, 2016

Writers Should Take A Look At Football Teams

Photo from Twitter

Yesterday seemed like a very long day. Our beloved Kansas State Wildcats were scheduled to play in the Texas Bowl at 8 p.m. I was busy all day but my mind wandered often to the big game. We would play Texas A&M in Houston. Texas A&M had been picked to win, even though both teams had the same record. 

Our team had lost a few games in the early part of the season but got progressively better as the weeks went on. A couple of the losses were by one point. Oh, how that hurts. And maybe it served to inspire them to work harder and become winners. 

The purple people who cheer the Wildcats had faith that K-State would come out the winner. And they did! The game was close all they way and ended with a score of 33-28. A&M scored first in a very short time. I could sense collective groans from the K-State fans. But our team scored next and then again and kept plugging away until they cinched the win by stopping the other team in the last part of the 4th quarter. I felt a mother's pride in every one of those guys on our team, as well as the coaches. 

I know some of you could care less about football but I grew up with a dad and three brothers so it was either learn to like football or be miserable. I chose to like watching and so did my mom. It's something my husband I do together--go to the games at K-State and watch many on TV. 

So, what does this have to do with the writing world? I think all of us who write could take a lesson from what I've told you about in the first part of today's post. Sometimes, we come very close to being published. We might receive a rejection with an encouraging note from an editor. But close is not what we strive for. We want to get the ball over the goal line and make some points. So, what should we do? 

Same thing this football team did. Up the practice time--your writing time. Put in more time reading about writing and reading other peoples' writing. Pump yourself up emotionally. Use that I-can-do-it method to build your own self-confidence. Football teams have a bevy of coaches. You do, too. Your coaches are the critique groups you belong to, the friends who are a one-on-one help to you, the conferences you attend and the writing reference books you read. All of these help you become a better player--make that writer.

One other big factor is the desire to win if you're a football player. You have to want it so bad you ache inside. To be published is the same for a writer. Every successful writer has to acquire the passion for his/her writing. He/she needs to have the desire to be accepted by editors. The more you feel the need for it, the stronger your will to achieve it and the harder you'll work. 

K-State ended up champions in their final game this year but they aren't done. Their coach has instilled a work ethic in them that means they will start working next week on next year's season. They'll watch film, continue conditioning and more. Writers can't sit back and relax after being published. That's when the writer must get started on a new project, keep doing writing exercises and all the other things that make us better writers. Champions don't quit, they keep plugging away to find the next win. You can, too!

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