Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing for Gold

Post by Jenny

Did you watch the Olympics? I did—not every moment of cable coverage but enough to keep up with what was happening. Honestly, I love the Olympics. They’re the best reality TV ever—though I might not be the best judge of that since I’ve never seen even one episode of Dancing With America’s Talented Idols. (What, that’s not a real show? Are you sure?)

The only downside is being reminded that I will never be a world-class athlete in any sport. From Archery to Wrestling, I got nothin.’ I couldn’t even compete with the oldest Olympian, 71-year-old Japanese equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu. I’m pretty sure I don’t share his “fanatical commitment” to any sport. And that’s okay, because not everyone is an athlete.

Some of us are writers, and writing is another endeavor where amateurs can, with enough work and dedication, go for the gold.

I’m not kidding myself, though. If there were an Olympics for writing, I wouldn’t qualify for that either. There are many qualities, however, that I would aspire to bring to such a competition: the speed of a sprinter, for example. The endurance of a cycler. The grace of a gymnast. The strength of a weightlifter. The concentration of a diver. The focus of an archer. The all-around awesomeness of a pentathlete. And top it all off with the enthusiasm of a rookie and the wisdom of a veteran.

But the most important quality I would want to bring to the keyboard is whatever keeps an Olympic athlete from quitting, even if his or her moment in the spotlight ends in a slip off the beam, a tumble on the track, an ‘unstuck’ landing, a very big splash. Even if it takes another four years, they’ll do their best to make it to the Olympics again for another chance at a medal. That’s the kind of drive that makes champions.

What Olympic qualities do you try bring to your writing?


Patricia Stoltey said...

I could probably claim a bronze for sprinting, but I've never had the kind of dedication it takes to win Olympic gold. I often wonder if those athletes (or ballerinas or classical pianists) ever have time to enjoy their families, spend a little time in the garden, or catch a Saturday afternoon movie (while enjoying a small movie popcorn).

Jenny said...

Pat, I agree, it would be an all-consuming lifestyle. I like having a little time to kill.

Maggie said...

I might be able to medal in the Stubborn Hope for Publication Against All Odds for my age group event...

Jenny said...

Right there with you, Maggie!

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