Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Go for Writing Gold

By Jill Earl

Last month, Marcia Peterson’s blog post “Loving the Sport” suggested that writers might want to start thinking of writing as not just an occupation or a means to an end, but as something we take great joy in participating. We should do it because we love it and the reward it gives. She included advice from author Anne Patchett, actor Bradley Whitford and Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee as motivation.

With the Beijing Olympics approaching, I’ve been glued to the T.V. as the Olympic Trials have aired. Besides watching gymnast Shawn Johnson, runner Alison Felix and swimmers Katie Hoff and Michael Phelps shatter records in their quest to go to the Games, another athlete has inspired me as I place fingers to keyboard.

Dara Torres is twice the age of many of the elite swimmers she competes against and as a forty-one year old mother of a two-year old, many dismissed her attempt to win her way to a fifth Olympic Games as a long shot, at best.

A couple weeks ago, she clocked in phenomenal times in her races, speeding through the water and leaving her competitors literally in her wake. Crowds roared their approval, commentators marveled at her and the world took notice. Including me.

The only way Ms. Torres attempted and succeeded was because she enjoyed her sport so much that she spent hours honing her body into prime condition. There may have been times of struggle, but she pushed through, for the love of it. Watching her, you get the sense that even if she didn’t make the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, her love of swimming would live on.

As a writer, I must continually stretch and hone my craft. There will be times where I’ll have to struggle just to pick up a pen or turn on the computer. But I too must push through.

So next month, I’ll remember how my love for writing will sometimes cause me to turn from the Olympics to write, not just for the money or to be published, but because I enjoy the reward.

That’s how I’ll go for the gold in my writing. How about you?

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