I should be Writing
It's late in the evening, when I should be writing, instead, I'm watching TV. More specifically, I'm watching America Ninja Warrior. An amazing name for a show that has neither ninjas or warriors. If you've never watched the show, it's based on six to ten obstacles that a participant must master to win or go on to the next round of the competition. I enjoy it, because no matter what you did last week, last year or how hard you train, when the starting gong sounds your chance for success hinges on what you're doing at the moment. Women compete right alongside and against men and perform just as well.
How does this have anything to do with writing? Relax, I'll make the connection momentarily. This last season of America Ninja Warrior, aired the summer of 2021, showed an amazing competition between veteran athletes and rookie participants still in High School. Did you read that right? Yes. Veteran athletes with five years or more experience in this competition competing against fifteen and sixteen-year-olds.
Can you imagine Tom Brady playing against athletes that competed at the high school level the previous season? Not likely. What's even more amazing is the season winner turned out to be fifteen-years-old. A young man named, Kaden Lebsack, who made it to the final obstacle, but due to fatigue and time did not complete the event, but beat every other participant. He won $100,000.
We do see similar stories for the Olympics, most especially in gymnastics. These are two sports where talent is important, but more important is the amount of practice needed to excel in the sport. How does a fifteen-year-old reach the pinnacle of a sport where even veterans fail on a regular basis? It turns out that Kaden trained for the sport for five years and competed in Junior events before entering the pro-competiton with the best of the best.
The show talked about his practicing in the morning before school. Going to school. Practicing after school and practicing some more after dinner each night.
Let's Talk about Your Writing
Many writers I know work full time jobs, have family committments and then find partial times to write. Have you ever thought, I should go write, but instead watched TV, surfed the web, enjoyed YouTube videos or spent the evening on social media? I'll tell you truthfully, I do it all the time.
Imagine being like fifteen-year-old Kaden Lebsack and take (not find, but TAKE) five hours every day to write. I'm sure Kaden wanted to rest, go out for pizza with his friends, watch TV for hours or work on mastering social media, but instead he took action.
I ask you to make a commitment to your writing. Wake up early to write. Find time during the day to work on an outline or study the craft. After you put the children to bed, turn off the TV and start pounding out the next chapter of your novel. How many words could you write if you created an extra three, four or five hours in your life for writing? If I committed to it, I bet I could write a minimum of five novels in one year and maybe more.
Learn the Craft
Another thing to remember about Kaden is he worked on the specialized craft of America Ninja Warriors. There are obstacles he had to learn to master. Writing is the same way. Do you need work on adding descriptions to your novels? Is the setting just thrown against the wall with no regard to using it as another character in your story? Are your characters flat and uninteresting? Are there plot holes in your story that a tank could drive through?
The craft of writing can be learned. There are many books on the subject and I recommend you buy the books, learn the techniques and PRACTICE the techniques.
Take the next step and commit to being a professional writer even if it's for one hour a day.
Kenneth Brown Author
Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash.