Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Child Athletes And What Writers Can Learn From Them

My family is very active in sports. One swims, one rides horse and one dances. Now, other than making this a really busy family that keeps mom and dad running a lot, it has also given me a chance to really see how child athletes are often affected by sports.

There are a lot of great things that these sports provide for the kids and I think we can all agree with that. But, we have also seen what happens when these kids end up being pushed harder than they are ready to be pushed. We have seen when these kids just aren't able to handle the pressure of what is being expected of them. They might suffer physically due to any number of injuries occurring because their bodies are simply not ready for what we are putting them through. I had a student in one of my writing courses at the local college tell me that she was just a sophomore but had already had two major knee surgeries. We even hear of kids in little league having all of those shoulder surgeries. Wow!

But we also see what happens to them mentally. That pressure to succeed can be so great that the need for child psychologists to step in is urgent.

I really don't want to spend too much time on this, but instead, take the time to look at this same idea in the publishing perspective. I honestly believe that many authors end up trying to succeed in this business too quickly. The pressure to "publish" either through peer pressure, financial pressure or the pressure from the companies out there pushing you to publish with them can often ruin a writer's career. In an effort to succeed too quickly, they are often not "ready" for that challenge. They may learn some really bad habits from those that might not be "in the know." More often than not, they simply are burnt out before they even get a chance to flex those wings.

If you think about it, we first started writing because we enjoyed the process. We had fun telling stories, creating characters, and certainly sharing those stories. But, if we pushed too hard, that joy is simply gone.

The point of all this is simple. Don't rush the process of getting published. Learn and grow as a writer. Experience the joy of writing and the fun of creating those characters. The deal is that there will always be chances to publish. We might not know what the format will be, but the chances will be there. I promise you that! And, what you may find, is that because you took the time, when it is your time to shine, you will be amazing at what you do!

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