Member at Large
Feel like you’ve had enough Olympics to last at least four years? Had your fill of water cooler discussions about quarter point deductions or spiking the ball? Really tired of references to Olympic goals and ideals, relating to writing? Yeah, me too.
But bear with me, because this one has stuck better than any landing. Actually, it’s not about the Olympics specifically. It’s a commercial.
Surely you saw this commercial, seems like it played at every break. A variety of athletes worked out, and the voice over listed everything they had not done in preparation for the Olympics: no dessert for two years, hadn’t seen the latest movie, and what I really remember was "haven’t read that book everyone’s talking about." I don’t know about you, but not being able to read seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me.
Obviously not to someone who has a goal in sight and a deadline to meet. Their goal is to be bigger, stronger, faster, better than anyone else in their sport, and to be at their peak at the Olympic Games. To achieve that goal, they’re willing to forego what most of us think of as our inalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of the ultimate fried food.
Aren’t we fortunate we only have to give up some of our time to write more? Granted those who don’t work out regularly add inches to their body as well as words to the page. But the analogy is still valid.
Sacrifices need to be made in pursuit of any goal worth achieving. We can’t go to every midnight movie or every holiday sale and sometimes we’re going to miss that neat town event, because we’re chasing dreams and building characters. We try to maintain a good social life but the fact is time we might be spending with our real friends needs to be spent with the friends we create.
Is it worth the effort and sacrifice? After all, only a very small percentage of those who qualify for the Olympics stand on the medal podium. And those people represent a minuscule number of those who tried out and failed, or who didn’t even make the trials. Of the many writers hunched over their keyboards instead of spending a lazy afternoon in the malls, how many will see their names attached to a published book, whether digital or in print?
Well, a lot more than those who gave up their dreams to do something else. And that is the real lesson of the Olympics.
Having gotten back on track with those dreams, Monica Stoner, writing as Mona Karel, has two books published and more on the way.