Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making Sport of Writing

Those of you who know me well, know about the Gourley family and sports. Gourleys play sports, live sports, coach sports and support all the sports they don’t play or coach. Athletics are great family activities though as often or not we’re miles apart on different fields supporting one family member or another and updating each other by cell phone.


This time of year is often a lull between seasons unless one of our teams makes the playoffs. My daughter’s field hockey team almost always makes the post season. This week they’re defending their state title from last year. It should be exciting.

Being a writer I can’t help but make comparisons between sports and a career as an author. It takes lots of practice to be good at them. You improve quicker if you have experts and those with more experience giving you direction. The encouragement of your colleagues and support persons helps you keep going when you get discouraged. You can’t succeed if you don’t try your best all the time.

Sometimes you’re so tired from the other demands in your life you want to slack on your commitment but you have to find the will to keep going. You have to take risks and be daring. You have to take criticism and use it to help you improve. There are some rules you must follow but there’s also room to show off your own talent and style. There will be painful failures and joyful successes. Sometimes you will be the best player but you won’t necessarily win. Occasionally you may not think it was fair or you’ll get a bad piece of luck. At the end of the day the best team or writer doesn’t always win.

But the successful athlete or writer only goes that much harder when the going gets tough. Don’t give up the dream. Work harder. Turn the frustration and tears into determination and sweat. The time will come when you’re the expert, coaching the inexperienced and finding more pride and joy in their growth. So keep working and give back when you’ve ‘made’ it.

What are some ways you help other writers? Do you have family or writing friends who provide support for you?

16 comments:

RaShelle said...

Hey Susan - Way cool post. Our family is big into football, so I love the sports angle. It does help to have those around you to cheer you on. Also, it's great if you have someone who can lead you and help you improve, too. =D

Chary Johnson said...

Very interesting analogy. I would have never thought to compare writing to sports, me not being athletic, but they complement each other well.

Very motivational!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

RaShelle, our family loves football too. We've had players and coaches in that sport. I've done my share of writing while waiting to pick someone up at practice.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks, Chary. It was only after I finished writing the post I realized it sounded like a pregame pep talk.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Yes, you're right in such a novel fashion. We all need good coaches and more than that : intelligence teamed with determination!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You're so right, Roland. I was lucky to bump into another writer at a conference early in my career. She helped me so much. I hope I can pass even a little of her wisdom forward.

Jen Daiker said...

I love your blog! It's fantastic!!! And I found new books to read! Yay win-win.

For the record I'm also following now!

Okay, now regarding this awesome post. I adore helping other writers, I have a sidebar that I use for upcoming authors, blog shout outs, interviews,and more.

My family isn't exactly supportive in my writing, however my husband is EXTREMELY supportive which is really nice!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for the follow Jen. Glad to hear your husband is supportive. I don't think I could do this without my hubby's belief in me.

The Happy Whisk said...

My husband is the best. He's a writer too, and that makes life easy.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It must be cool to have another writer in the family and have someone who really knows the day to day frustrations close to you.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hi Susan - Yes, it's very cool. I love it. Makes life easy and we have a lot of laughs in the process.

Thanks for stopping by and joining. I just joined yours as well and I look forward to our chats.

Happy Writing :-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks, Ivy. I love the name of your blog.

Helen Ginger said...

I have a husband who supports me and I have friends that are there when I call on them for critiquing or just upping my spirits.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Aren't those supportive spouses great, Helen? And I think I've might have given up a few times at the beginning if not for my friends.

The Happy Whisk said...

Supportive friends are a big bonus. Thanks for the nice words about my blog title.

I'm new to blogging. It's quit a lot of fun.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent analogy!
And I like the new look of your blog.