As a writer, I can’t help but make comparisons between the world class competitors and my own quest for gold. So, Writing versus Olympic Winter Sports: Let the Games Begin!
Winter sports require cold weather and, well, winter. I really don’t like winter. Writing, on the other hand, is done in my temperature-regulated house with no possibility of frostbite.
A point for writing!
Practice, practice, practice. Just like figure skaters, writers are often up early in the morning or awake well after normal people go to bed perfecting their craft. They know, just like athletes, that practice makes perfect. The bonus – a writer doesn’t land on her ‘axel’ unless she misjudges where the chair is, as she is about to sit at her desk.
Another point for writing!
Some winter sports are team events. Women’s hockey constitutes a group of women all playing together for a common goal (pun intended). There is teamwork, camaraderie, shoulders to cry on when the team loses, and backs to pat when they emerge victorious. Writing is a very lonely sport. There are, however, critique partners and writing friends whom will lend you a shoulder at the first sign of rejection. They will offer their services for reading first drafts, second drafts, and twentieth drafts. But unless you’re writing with a co-author, the quest is a solitary one.
A point for winter sports!
Writing is a scary venture. You need to have or develop a very thick skin for possible rejections, bad reviews, or poor sales. BUT, at no time whatsoever do you fly down a steep, ice crusted track face first on a slip of plastic known as a sled experiencing forces up to 5g. Oh, did I mention the sled has no steering or braking mechanism?
Two points for writing!
Endurance! Wow, cross-country ski and biathlon athletes are amazingly fit individuals. They race 10K, 30K, even 50K while co-ordinating long skis and equally long poles. Most times on icy conditions and sometimes with guns on their back which they remove and shoot at targets in-between skiing (the ability to slow the heart rate down to shoot a gun, let alone hit a target astounds me). But writers can face years of lonely solitude writing a novel, then revising a novel and always pushing forward in the quest for the finish line (publication). This endurance may not require an athlete’s heart, but the heart must be strong and resilient.
A point to each!
Run, jump in and go – bobsled racing doesn’t really have a lot of rules or strategy (please, if you’re a bobsledder, don’t send me hate mail – there probably is tons of strategy to the sport, but from my perch on the couch…). Writing has rules. Publishing has rules. And if you’re going to be a writer, then you better have an imagination. There’s a lot more work than running to your computer, jumping into your chair, and typing.
A point for winter sports!
If you take up a winter sport, you will learn very quickly if you have what it takes to get to the top. The speed skating event is filled with top-notch athletes all vying for gold – athletes who are the cream of the crop. Writers keep writing. There is no filtering system to inform you early on whether or not you should quit your day job or start searching for a sponsor. It could take you your entire life (if you are persistent and relentless) to figure out whether or not you have what it takes. Boys and girls who take up speed skating will know within a few years whether or not they have what it takes to make it to the Olympics.
Another point for winter sports!
And there’s the buzzer. Looks like writing has squeaked out a win at 5 points to Olympic Winter Sports’ 4 points. That was a close one.
I figure even if winter sports had come out the winner, I am and will forever be a writer. As mentioned, I don’t like winter. And I am not a sporty person at all. And even though I gave a point to winter sports for having rules and no strategy (again, no hate mail), therefore making it less taxing on the brain, I wouldn’t trade my imagination in for the world. I love the characters that come and whisper in my ear, demanding their story be told. I love plotting out a mystery or creating a scene that will bring my hero and heroine together (or make them so mad, there doesn’t seem to be a chance for happily ever after). And I love making up stories to entertain myself and others.
So, People of Blogland, are you a writer or a sportsman? What’s your favorite Winter Olympic Sport? What’s your favorite part of the writing process? And I have to ask – is there any way in you-know-where you’d go down a frosty track, face first, on a piece of plastic? I think you already know my answer to that question!
Janet (Go, Canada, Go)