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Four Things I Learned from the San Antonio Spurs
I don't have an athletic bone in my body, but I am inspired by the San Antonio Spurs. They should be next to the word 'team' in the dictionary. Described as "a bunch of guys who have gotten over themselves," they get the work done. I love their determination and heart. Here's what has inspired my writing life by watching the Spurs.
1. Learn the basics. The Spurs have the basics of basketball down to a science, which makes for professional excellence. A writer needs to hone basic skills of grammar, sentence structure, properly formatting a manuscript, and adhering to submission guidelines to name a few. These basic skills separate a novice from a professional.
2. Practice, practice, practice. The Spurs basic skills are taken to dizzying heights by their level of commitment to preparation. Countless hours of practice frame the beautiful strategy and logistics of their famous teamwork. Writers need to practice as well. Talking about writing, reading about writing, getting organized and joining social writing groups are all important, but that's not writing. Writing is writing. You can't edit or submit a blank page. Write. Just. Do. It.
3. Many counselors. My favorite team has a team – coaches, trainers, advisers, and all kinds of staff that help make them what they are. Writers must be willing to work with critique partners, editors, and agents. A team of prayer partners is essential. We've got to have a teachable spirit to have any kind of successful writing career. It takes the team.
4. Shoot. For basketball, it all comes down to the ball going through the hoop. All the practice and preparation hangs on the moment that ball makes successful contact. It took three attempts at one point in that Sunday game to make the basket, but they doggedly kept after it. A writer desiring publication has to submit. We have to get it out there, learn from our rejections, and submit again and again and again.
Learn the basics, practice, get counsel, and shoot. The Spurs' winning combination will serve a writer well.