Life Ain’t It Great

February 14, 2006 | Writing


Seems like I’ve been gone for days. Okay, I have been absent for a few days. That’s what happens sometimes. JMan was in another tennis tournament last weekend, and my team had a match Sunday. JMan was nervous Friday night. Edgy, mostly. His Dad came to watch, which made him nervous. Of course, I’m always nervous, but try not to show it. This time, I was well prepared. I brought my ipod, my ebook, and a chair. JMan won, again his effort, focus, and determination were all there. He told me before the match, that he might be off the court quickly. I asked him to explain. Was he going to win quickly, or lose quickly? Nerves, but once he got on the court, instinct and training took over, and he was in it to win. Of course, the next round he draws the number two seed, who just happened to lose to one of JMan’s high school team mates last weekend. When I saw the draw, I said, “We’re f***ked.” The kid is pretty good. I debated whether to tell son who he was playing, so I did tell him. He was fired up! He went in with a game plan, and was up five games to two, on the NUMBER TWO SEED, the first set. Then nerves, reality set in, and he lost the first set seven games to five. The second set, he tried, but he couldn’t get pass his own head. His Dad came, and said he could ride with me home. JMan is known to very moody after a loss. So is his Mom when she loses. He came off the court, looked at me, and smiled. “Well, what happened?” I asked. “Mental,” was his reply, with a smile. I returned his smile and nodded. “Yep, sure was.” But he wasn’t real moody. He knew he could take a seeded player to the brink, and next time, he could maybe win.

Now, the writing parallel. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? JMan did his best, he was committed to a game plan, and forced his opponent to play better. As writers, we must have a game plan, celebrate our successes, learn from our rejections, and get right back up and try again. JMan knew his problem became mental. How close was he to his first big second round win? Very, very, very close. Being close to our goal can scare us into not finishing our work.

How close are we to completing a manuscript? How close are we to sending out the first three chapters of our book? How close are we to being published? How many more doors do we have to knock on, classes to take, rewrites to do? How many? Until we get it done, that’s how many.

Now, how did I do Sunday in my match? I lost. I went in knowing I had a 5% chance of winning, but I played first singles very well. AND, on my opponent serving the first game, I broke her serve and won the first game. HA! I made mental notes that I went over with the pro I work with. Now, we’re getting a tennis game plan together for me to use when playing. Yep, writing game plan, and now a tennis game plan. This year is looking better.

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  1. Good for you on the game, Yasmine! And I hear you about the parallel to writing. There is something about the fear of success that sometimes keeps us from typing “the end”, even though those are two of the sweetest words in the English language. 🙂


  2. Hey, Yasmine, where are you? I keep coming back, looking for you.




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