There are lessons in life if we look for them. Sometimes they pop up where we least expect them and take us by surprise. That happened to me just the other night.
I like the UFC. Not just the big pay per view events either, but the stuff that’s on regular tv too. The discipline it takes to be a top level athlete is staggering and though I wasn’t looking for a lesson in writing while watching The Ultimate Fighter the other night, I got one.
Really, there’s two lessons that we could talk about. The first, that it takes hard work to be a good writer just like it takes hard work to be a good fighter is so obvious, we’ll just skip over it. Everyone should know that.
There is normally a fight at the end of each episode of the show between contestants. (That’s kind of the point of the show after all.)
During the fight, Conner McGregor (Team Europe’s coach) was yelling at his struggling fighter as he and his opponent scrambled for position on the octagon mat.
He was yelling for his Fighter to have patience. “Be patient,” McGregor shouted through the cage in his thick Irish accent. “The patient man always wins!”
It was at that point that I thought how much more alike fighting and writing were than I had previously thought. If there’s one thing writing has taught me, and continues to teach me everyday, it’s patience.
Maybe there’s someone out there who just woke up one day, thought, “I’m going to write today,” and busted out a great first novel. I doubt it, but maybe. We work for years to develop our craft, our style, and even then the wheels turn slow.
Think about it. First, you write your thing. (Short story, novella, novel or what have you.) Then there’s the editing. Try submitting without editing and see how that goes. Oh and that brings us to submitting. You send your lovely little story in and then…you wait.
If you get published, something that I’ve never had the honor of but hope too, the waiting still isn’t over. If, perhaps more likely, all your hard work and patience yields a rejection letter, you have a couple choices. Resubmit somewhere else, or start over by writing your next “thing.” Either way, I hope you’ve stocked up on patience.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck out there! I hope all of your hard work and patience pays off.