Nicole Flockton

Be whatever you want to be.

21 February 2010

Olympics and Writing

So the games are on and I've spent the last week watching them. It's been great and the grit and determination and commitment of the athletes is something to aspire to.

I know Australia won't do well that well, we don't get a lot of snow and are more a summer sport country than winter sports. I think I read on the internet that a base has been set up overseas for our athletes. It does make sense. I'm sure the sponsorship deals aren't as big as our summer Olympic athletes. Of course I have no basis to prove this comment so it's just a pie in the sky comment by me.

I believe a few of the Australian athletes reside in the US or other European cities. It makes sense, particularly with the amount of snow the US has received this year!

As a writer you have the joy and anticipation of getting the call and then waiting for the book to be on the shelves. Depends on who you are published with your book can be on the shelf for quite a few weeks.

If you are Olympian, you spend years training, honing your craft and skill level to reach the pinnacle of your sport. You attend the Olympic trials and do your best to make the team. For some that's when the first disappointment occurs. You then have to wait another 4 years for your chance to make the team. In between there is always the world championships you can attend. I guess you could say that's when you receive a form rejection.

There's the elation of making the team, achieving one part of your goal. The build up and the anticipation of going to a different place and culture. There's the fitting for your uniform and the team camps you attend. This is when you've had the request for a full .

The first big day has arrived, you are preparing to enter the stadium in your shiny new uniform for the opening ceremony. Perhaps you've even been given the honour of carrying your country's flag. We could say you've sent your requested full off and got a letter back requesting revisions.

After much sweat, blood and tears the day of your event has arrived. Butterflies the size of elephants take up residence in your stomach. You get yourself to that place in your mind. You focus and then you make your way to the starting line. You start. Everything is going beautifully, your technique is flawless. You are sailing down the snow covered mountain, or skating on pristine ice. And then in a split second it happens, you twist the wrong way and you fall. Your Olympic dream is over. You don't make the final and you don't get on the podium and you have to wait another four long years to feel the adrenalin rush of an Olympic Games. Yes you attend world championships and win, but you don't get what is revered above all - that Olympic Gold Medal. It's the rejection letter you get after you've slaved over one or maybe two revisions. Do you want to go on? Of course you do, you love it. It's your passion. You don't give up.

What just occurred above, happened to the competitor before you. Now it's your turn. You start off and you sail down the mountain or across the ice with the fastest speed or highest score. And at the end it is your name sitting atop of that list. You are number 1. You are an Olympic Gold Medalist. In a writers life, that's when you get the CALL. You are going to be a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

It may happen at your first Olympics or your third. It may happen with your first manuscript or it may take you ten or more manuscripts but you get there. The one common thread between you and that Olympian - you never gave up. You followed your dream. And yes you may fall and miss the podium but you get back up and dust yourself off ready for the next Olympics or the next manuscript.

One day I will be that Olympic Gold Medalist and for me it will be when I have that book in my hand. With my name on the cover and know that in a few short weeks it will be on the bookshelf for all to see.

Enjoy the Games!


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  • At 9:33 am , Blogger H Maree Davis said...

    So true Nicki.

    I once tried to compare writing 'on spec' as being like training for the Olympics but whoever I said it to just didn't get it. Of course I didn't say it nearly as eloquently as you.

    H! :)


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