Writing Like an Athlete

September 12, 2012

The athletes in my life have good days and bad days. Lately, they’ve been dealing with injuries and losing streaks. It’s enough to make the strongest competitors question why they compete in the first place. Of course, they do it because they love it—even while they hate it. And they know that if they just keep working, if they push through the bad days, good days will follow.

Those good days come faster and more frequently when an athlete has a training regimen in place. If we’re talking baseball, that regimen can include field work, strength training, stretching and reps (God Bless, the batting cage). The more the athlete repeats a motion, the easier the motion becomes.

Writing works this way too.

A couple weeks ago in an email exchange with Nicole, I whined about needing a game plan but not knowing how to create one. She teasingly offered to make one for me. Ha! I accepted her not-actually-an-offer, and after answering a few more questions for her, I was staring at a game plan. My training regimen. It included things like writing specific word counts each day, completing entire manuscripts on deadlines and submitting. It was exactly what I needed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not always easy to follow, because I’m not always motivated to do the things that are on that list. But I’m tired of falling short of my ultimate goal, which is publication. To borrow from the sports world again—I’m tired of losing.

These days, the athletes in my house aren’t the only ones who are training. The writer’s training too. 🙂

Do you have a “game plan”? Do you write down your goals? Do you take it a step further and write down the daily actions necessary to achieve those goals? I’d love to know if it works for you.

Elley

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