Going for the Gold – Top Three Medals for Writers
This is the week of the Olympics. Most of us will be glued to our televisions from the Opening to Closing ceremonies. Some will hold our breath while gymnasts fling themselves into the air from the high bars or twist and turn on pommel horses. Others will agonize whether this is the year of Ryan Lochte or if Michael Phelps will win the three medals he needs to be the most medaled Olympiad. Whatever the outcome of the games, the events and awards will, unlike being a writer, happen during a finite period of time. Because a writer’s life is continuous and is not televised, even though every writer dreams of winning a gold medal, here in reverse order are my top three Olympic Medals for Writers.
Bronze: The bronze medal is given today for the act of training. Olympic athletes set practice schedules and repeat and repeat moves until perfected. A writer trains by coming up with an idea and then getting it down on paper. Talking about it won’t win a medal. Rather, a writer must set a schedule and adhere to it to produce a number of pages or words. The first draft is a start, but revision and revision is necessary to be considered for this medal. Good intentions about exercising or writing are not sufficient. So, congratulations to Bronze Medalist: Training/Getting it Down on Paper.
Silver: Once a story, poem, or book is finished, it needs to find readership. The silver medalist faces rejection, criticism and praise while seeking an agent, editor, publisher, or self-published outlet. Qualification for this medal may include rewriting that slashes well-loved pages and scenes. Congratulations to Silver Medalist: Getting Published.
Gold: The line between Getting Published and Promoting While Continuing to Write is very close, but the difficulty of balancing the time period of seeking to reach an expanded readership after publication while still finding time to write is the winner. The gold medal reflects time management, going outside one’s comfort zone, being flexible, and finding a way to blend creativity with further accomplishment. Congratulations to Gold Medalist: Promoting While Continuing to Write.