Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Olympians & Accomplished Writers, & What They Have in Common

Watching the Sochi games last month, I became acutely aware that Olympic Champions and accomplished writers have a lot in common. I came up with a list of over 80 characteristics, many synonymous, that apply. Here are five in no particular order that just happen to start with the letter “D”:

Desire. Wish, want, longing, craving, and aspiration all apply to champions, whether it's someone running a race or writing a book. Champions are personal examples of excellence or achievement; they long to be the best they can be. Somehow, through hard work and dedication, Olympic Champions and accomplished writers take their desire to the next level. They go beyond just wishing and wanting. They actually do it!

Dedication. Devoted wholeheartedly or committed to a goal, cause or job describe someone who is dedicated. Is there any question as to the commitment of the skiers, skaters, snowboarders, and hockey players we watched last month? Is there any question as to the dedication of writers who become published authors? Committed runners finish the race; committed writers finish what they've begun.

Determination. Strong-minded, resolute, gritty, single-minded, unwavering, firm, dogged, and indomitable all describe champions, whether on the playing field or at the computer pounding out word after word after word. Nothing, absolutely nothing, stands in the way of Olympic champions from doing all that is within them to reach the finish line, first! Authors whose names appear on completed manuscripts have the same kind of resolve.

Disappointment.  Frustration, even failure to attain hopes or wishes, happen in any ambition. It’s a fact of life. But it’s not the disappointment or frustration that matters in the lives of champions; what matters is that they get up from a fall and continue their skating routine; they ski in spite of illness. Will accomplished writers feel disappointment, even rejection? Of course. Will they continue to write anyway? Most definitely!

Daring. Brave, adventurous, courageous, even reckless disregard for danger describe champions. The Sochi events demanded those who were daring, even reckless, in their pursuit of greatness. An accomplished writer must be daring too. It takes courage to put yourself out there, to bare it all, so to speak. It’s risky to allow others a glimpse into your head, heart, and soul as you lay your words out there for the entire world to see.

Would you agree, Olympic Champions and accomplished writers have commonalities? In weeks to come, we’ll list a few more. As a writer, can you relate to any of the above?

If you need help getting on course to write your manuscript or staying on course once you’ve begun, write to me at I’d love to cheer you on!

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