In our house, we’re getting ready for competition season in gymnastics to begin this weekend. My daughter is a USAG level 7 gymnast with some pretty ambitious goals and it takes a lot of the family’s time and focus.
But recently my daughter was convinced she needed to quit gymnastics (after seven years and thousands of hours in the gym). Her coach and I were asking her why and she told us:
She didn’t feel like she was doing well and didn’t feel successful.
She’d had some setbacks (injuries) and was finding it hard to recover.
It felt like it was taking forever to improve.
Her coach just looked at her and flat-out said, “You’re too good to quit. I need you on my team.”
After that, the coach began asking questions. What do you feel like you’re not doing well? What’s your definition of being “successful”?
My daughter felt like she should be coming in first place in every event at every meet. She’s had her share of medals, but nobody can win ‘em all. Her coach asked her if maybe she could reframe her definition of success, and together they came up with a more workable definition.
The coach helped her see that it’s normal for recovery from setbacks to take time and be painful; and also reminded her that gymnastics is a sport that takes years to learn; that slow progress is the only way; and that nobody ever really masters it.
My daughter came up with some new goals and embraced a more realistic view of the time and effort her sport requires. She decided to go back to basics — to focus on having fun, and to be consistently improving.
She decided not to quit.
Have you had those moments when you felt like you weren’t successful enough to continue? When you were frustrated at how long it’s taking? When the setbacks (rejections) felt so painful you just didn’t know if you could keep going?
Have you ever felt like quitting?
What made you continue?
In writing, like many sports – progress is slow, and nobody ever really masters it. Click to Tweet.
Have you ever felt like quitting? What made you continue? Click to Tweet.
Suffering setbacks? Taking forever to make progress? You’re not alone. Click to Tweet.
Image credit: eskay / 123RF Stock Photo
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: In real life, it’s not what a person says that shows us who they are. It’s what they do. The content of a person’s character is revealed in action and behavior. Who a person says they are, or thinks they are, doesn’t necessarily reflect their […][ Read More → ]
It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing. (This blog is no exception.) But as I noted in this post at Author Media , I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work. It may be […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I’m an optimist by nature — I usually expect things will all work out. But for the new year, I plan to maintain a more realistic mindset by “thinking negative.” What do I mean by that? When I “think negative,” I factor into my […][ Read More → ]
Happy new year! As we begin 2014, talk is everywhere about our goals, resolutions and plans. Many of you have chosen “one word” that will serve as a focal point throughout 2014. Choosing a word has become popular in the last five years or so, and I like it because it’s a concise way to distill […][ Read More → ]
Hey… you. Yeah, you, the one sitting alone in your basement hammering out a thousand words every morning before you go to work. And you. The one filling out your registration for a writers conference and terrified to click “send.” And you in the back, there… frantically taking notes in the writing workshop, attempting to […][ Read More → ]
Guest Blogger: Bryan Cohen (@bryancohenbooks) Self-motivation is crucial for authors, regardless of which publishing path you choose. Writing a book is difficult enough, but when you add on editing and marketing, it can feel impossible. And I’m crazy enough to have self-published 32 times. How did I do it? I learned a few ways […][ Read More → ]
One of the biggest challenges for many writers is being able to separate the artist self from the business self, and figuring out ways to nurture both. I find this to be an issue for unpublished authors more than those who are published. Once a writer is published, they seem highly motivated to stay published, […][ Read More → ]
In publishing, we’re constantly asking writers—typically a rather introverted bunch—to get involved, to engage, to network, to join groups and go to conferences. I often find myself wondering how many of you cringe every time you hear that kind of advice. Maybe you’re not into the whole publishing “scene.” Maybe you don’t enjoy being […][ Read More → ]
I’ve just finished reading Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. I’m still processing what I learned, and checking other sources for differing perspectives, but my initial reaction is that this is an eye-opening, clarifying, sobering yet illuminating resource for anyone interested in publishing or business in general. I […][ Read More → ]
Once you’re a published author, you’re going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers, and not everyone will like what you write. You’ll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You’ll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you may not feel safe. They […][ Read More → ]
Awhile back, Nathan Bransford had a terrific post on “Why You Are Receiving Rejections.” He says if you keep getting rejections, it boils down to two reasons: either your query isn’t strong enough, or your query is fine but your project isn’t resonating with agents. So true! He’s nailed it! He’s absolutely right! But I have […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet: Every time I blog about platform or social media, the vocal response in the comments reminds me that it’s a difficult subject for many authors. Everyone wonders how and when to build a platform, and many writers aren’t enthusiastic about it. There are two things […][ Read More → ]
The whole idea of “building a platform” and “marketing your book” is to get people to read what you’ve written. Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, connecting with potential readers is crucial. There are many good ways to do this (although it’s not necessarily easy), and plenty of resources to help you. Today I want to […][ Read More → ]