Monday, August 18, 2008

The Writing Olympics


I’ve been watching the Olympics, and like everyone in Maryland, and probably the rest of the U.S.A., I’ve been cheering for Michael Phelps, who won a historic eight gold medals. He’s an amazing inspiration. At 23 years old, he’s probably spent almost half his life in the water to get where he is today.

I started thinking about the similarity between an Olympic athlete and a writer. Of course, writers don’t have to be in the same physical shape as Olympic athletes--thank God for small favors. Still, we work for years honing our craft, swimming along with everyone else in the hopes that someday, we’ll be chosen for the team. Unfortunately, our finish line is not so obvious, and if we think the judges made a mistake, we can’t lodge a protest.

Like Olympic athletes, our training never stops. There is always the next competition for which to train. Even after we’re published, we have to do everything we’ve always done--the classes, the conferences, the workshops, the reading of our genre as well as books on craft--because published authors still have to keep making the team. On top of that, we practice keeping all the other balls in the air that our new status has given us. Not only do we struggle to write the next gold-medal worthy novel, but we blog, we launch books, we jump from copy edits on one manuscript to writing the next, and at the same time write proposals for future projects. It’s a very different obstacle course.

Like anything in life, achieving a goal can be a double-edged sword. Only the well-rounded athlete/writer will succeed--the team player. I rely on my agent, editor, publisher, publicists, critique partners and above all, family and friends to help me achieve my goals. Without them, I’d be like Michel Phelps without his long-time coach or the rest of the U.S. swim team. He’d never have won that last gold medal and broken Mark Spitz’s record without them.

I’m very blessed to have an incredible dream-team working with me. I’m not the Michael Phelps of romance writing (I think Nora Roberts has that title), but I do my best to be a great team player. I try to do a little better every day than I did the day before while racing through the publishing obstacle course we all love.

5 comments:

  1. Hi everyone~

    I'm traveling today so I probably won't be able to check in until late tonight. Have a great day.

    Robin :)

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  2. Romance writers as Olympians. What a thought!

    Interesting perspective, Robin.

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  3. Very cool comparison, Robin. I think it's important to realize that getting each of your books out really is a team effort, and that everyone involved knows that as well!

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  4. I am delighted to be a member of Team Robin! It does indeed take a village to navigate the publishing world, and I know my journey got a lot sweeter once I discovered the network of Casa sisters. I'm glad you ladies are part of my village!

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  5. Everyone has a gift; it shows early and the groundwork is laid easily. What we do with it then is up to us. I admire anybody who takes their gift to the limit. Thank you Robin! You've made me feel Olympian tonight.

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