Continuing yesterday's post:
(6) There will always be camaraderie
I don’t think I could ever have written my first novel without the support of my writing friends on Twitter and the NaNoWriMo community. The camaraderie of other people in the same field is indispensable to being a writer or an athlete. For who else understands what we go through? Our partners, friends and family may smile and be supportive but they cannot really know why the hell we do this. Pro athletes need team-mates and so do writers. If you don’t have this yet, get on with some networking!
(7) There will always be people trying to cheat and game the system, but authenticity wins through
Inevitably at the Olympics there are rumors of drug abuse and cheating. Some people will get away with it and no one will ever know, but many are caught out in the process. Everyone feels this is against the spirit of the Olympics, and fair play in general. This is not what we want as professionals.
Authenticity is far more important than trying to win by these other means. So don’t bother following the latest ways to game the Amazon algorithms or get fake reviews. Ignore the hyped so-called bestseller campaigns and the promises of power-friending on the social networks. This is a long journey and a little every day will get you there eventually with your reputation intact. Understanding yourself and being authentic is the only way to make it over the long haul.
(8) There are different sports for different people
Some people want to perpetuate the myth that we are all the same, but in truth, we should celebrate our differences and how much we can all achieve at different things. At the Olympics, beautiful black men will inevitably win the running, both short and long distances (and isn’t it a joy to watch Usain Bolt run?!) In the gymnastics, it will be petite girls, most likely from China or Eastern Europe. There are body types for different sports, and there are also preferences based on long term passion for the chosen arena.
It’s the same for writers. Much as I’d love to write in the top-selling genre of romance/erotica, it’s just not me. Perhaps you feel the same way about sci-fi or fantasy, horror or thrillers. Thankfully writing isn’t based on body type, but it is about excelling within our chosen arena. Yes, some writers span multiple genres but would they win Olympic gold in all of them?
(9) Fans are the true gold
Individual effort is definitely worthwhile, but the support of fans help an athlete, or a writer, excel further. I love to get emails from people who enjoyed my books, and I love to get great reviews on the book sites. It is said that an artist can make a living with 1000 true fans, who evangelize their work and ultimately buy whatever they do. We could not pay the bills without our fans, so let’s celebrate them and be grateful for them. In our turn, as fans of other writers, let’s buy their books and leave reviews of books we love.
(10) The human interest story will always capture people’s hearts
Who remembers the names of most of the athletes who competed, or won gold, at the Sydney Olympics? I was there and I remember only a handful. Perhaps you can name a few. But pretty much everyone who was there remembers Eric the Eel, the swimmer from Equatorial Guinea. He had never even seen an Olympic sized pool before arriving and only started swimming 8 months before the Olympics. He got in on a wildcard draw and won his heat as the others were disqualified for false starts.
The story of the underdog always captures the media attention and indeed our hearts. An easy win isn’t as satisfying as an emotional loss. As writers, we need to keep this in mind for our manuscripts. No one wants to know about the nameless masses, the fistfuls of gold. They want to know about the stories behind the hype.