When is a bronze medal a gold one in Olympics? When you overcome loss, angst and inconceivable odds and do your best. Such as Joannie Rochette did. Although her mother died unexpectedly while at Vancouver to cheer on her daughter, Joannie performed her routine. I can’t imagine the self discipline it must have taken. The training that carried her through. And although she only qualified for a bronze I think all Canadians, and likely much of the world, though she gave a gold-medal performance.
Here, in a picture by Chang W Lee in the New York Times she proudly displays the Maple Leaf and her bronze medal.
Watching her performance, reading what she had to say, knowing the odds she overcame have me thinking about writing. A writer trains hard. Overnight success as an author is estimated as 10 years of trying (and failing). I can verify that. I don’t often admit how many failures I’ve had but it’s lots. But in the process I learned a number of things. I learned about story structure, conflict and tension, character development, etc. I learned to adapt, change, and write every day even when it seemed futile. Valuable lessons that carry me through times of stress, boredom and discouragement.
So this week when I got requests for revisions on a proposal, line edits on a manuscript almost ready to go to print and notification from an editor that my contracted books will have a delay on them (so no rush for me to write them), I felt more like going on a holiday or watching TV then working. That’s when the training kicked in. I just sat at the computer and did what needed to be done. In no way does this compare to what Joannie did…skating after her mother’s death…but it bears a similarity. Sometimes we can’t let emotions decide what we’re going to do. Yes, I did the line edits, I did the revisions and I’m ready for whatever is next.
I suppose the same lesson applies to much of life. Things just have to be done, no matter how we feel about it at the moment.
“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” Peter De Vries