Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If You Don't Win, Then What?

I've been watching the Olympics this week. Love the competition and the Hoopla. As a former Canuck, I am a Figure Skating Junkie. I grew up watching the sport, participated in it till I got into the first levels of figures and still can back cross cut and do a mean mini jump on occasion.

I know the skating competition has always been overrun with politics in scoring, but all that aside, the sport is lovely to watch and amazing for me to witness. The winners are flawless. The Losers? Not so much. The gray areas are just that: gray. I won't get into the politics of scoring. I just know I want each and everyone of the athletes to do well.

Kind of like how I feel about my fellow writers.

But what happens if you don't win? You don't succeed despite your best efforts? Do you give up? Blame the judges? Blame yourself? Blame your partners? Or do you look at it and say I want the next generation to benefit from my loss? My failure?

That's what the coach for the Chinese Pairs' Teams did.

Watch his Olympic Dream Shattering:

OK--that stunk. He didn't do what was necessary. He tried, but he lost. He and his partner didn't do well at all.

He had a choice: cry, change or make it work for the next generation.

He chose option 3.

We may not all make it to the top, but we have an opportunity to bring our enthusiasm and our knowledge to the people in our lives to help them.

Sometimes success is in the helping. So hang in, give to others, give to many, give all. Don't focus on what you haven't accomplished. Pay it forward and see the final results in the victories of those around you. Perhaps you might win by being there!

For you viewing pleasure I will share the Victory:


What kind of writer are you? One who only seeks victory for oneself? Or one that keeps feeding the furnace with wood, kindling, fuel for the future?


Zoe said...

That is a really thought provoking post.
I've always seen writing as such a personal endeavour that it never occured to me to look outside my own experience of it.
But there can be more to it, we can share our knowledge and experience to benefit others.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Good post, C. You are definitely one who shares in hopes of helping others. I'd like to think I'm doing the same, but it's so easy to get caught up in our solitary world of characters and plots.

Great thoughts!

Christine said...

Hi Zoe: The sharing doesn't have to be huge scale, but it can be done in the quiet hours side by side at the coffee shop with another writing friend, encouraging her to pursue her dream. Or just in the answer to the call where one needs help with a plot problem. Small ripples lead to big waves :)

Christine said...

Gwen: your scrivener tutorials are helping me as are your eagle eye analytical catches of all things writing and revision. Teaching online and judging contests is a way to help and pay things forward, too.

And you know what? If all I see at the end of the line is an acknowledgement line to say, hey Christine always cheered me on, well, that's a good thing!


MaryC said...

Interesting post, Christina.

I was wondering similar things last night watching the skiing. To see someone who has trained for four years (but really much longer) with an eye on this competition just wipe out going down the hill... well it just hurts. I can't even imagine the frustration they feel and the level of dedication it must take to come back and do it again for 4 more years.

Especially the woman who fell just yards from the starting line. Oh how she must have wanted to say can't I just start over. I guess as writers we're lucky because we can always start over and submit again and we sure don't have to wait for years to do it (although it can feel like 4 years waiting on a response).

Giving back is such a large part of the Romance Writing community. I'm not sure I've ever encountered such generosity of spirit - especially for potential competitors - anywhere else.

Christine said...

MaryC: I watched that race and my heart broke for her. To have that happen after all the years of hard work is awful. I think so much of who we will become does depend on luck and timing despite all the hard work. The key is not to turn disappointment into bitterness, but into a sweet gift for someone else to taste.

I hope I can always achieve that goal.

marthawarner said...

Wow. This is a great post.

I hope against hope that I'm the same kind of writer and person you are. Helpful, full of inspiration, and one that others look at a say "She did more, she gave back."

Awesome post.

Wendy Marcus said...

Wow! This post made me think! I've always figured that since I'm not published, who am I to offer assistance to other writers. And yet, when I take the time to think about it, I do. By critiquing and offering suggestions. By supporting other writers, posting on their blogs, offering encouragement, and buying their first book. By contacting writer friends if I hear of a new opportunity or something I think may interest them. It's not much, but it's something.

Christine said...

Martha: I find your blogs totally helpful and a way of paying it forward. I really appreciate the way you put your work out there for the world to see. Such Bravery!

Christine said...

Wendy: You're right. Every time you judge a contest, read through a CP's work, encourage a new writer to follow their hearts--you help others along the way on their journey.

We all have different timelines, but along the way to success, big or small, I hope we all make a difference.