I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Olympics. I think my husband has grown weary of hearing me say that. I talk about them for weeks before the games begin. I decorate the house with TEAM USA stickers for the entire 17 days. I stay up until midnight every night watching the prime time coverage hosted by Bob Costas. You can’t appreciate the Olympics without all the facts that guy has in his brain about each sport and the star athletes. For me, the Olympics couldn’t have come at a better time this year. Watching the dedication and determination that these athletes have is so inspirational to me.
They say ‘It’s not how many times you fall down, it is how many times you get back up’. I’m gonna run with that. (Yes, I’m watching track and field right now!) Starting and stopping and starting again is sort of my specialty. I have a knack for setting fantastic goals for myself with much enthusiasm and then my excitement wanes and I fall off the mark. Sometimes I quit things because I gave it a go and found I didn’t like it, but sometimes (and this is the worst) I quit something that I really want to do. Those are the ones that bring regret. The good news is that even though I have dropped something there is no reason I can’t pick it back up again.
So, I’m picking up the pencil (or keyboard) again. Life, including a move, has taken center stage and that it made it quite easy to put editing my book on the sidelines for awhile. The other thing that made it easy…well, I loathe editing. So, even though I moved over two months ago and don’t really have a good reason to not have started writing again, I let my distaste of the editing process hold me back. I also have a tendency to want to do things perfectly the first time and if I let the fear creep in that it won’t be perfect, I shut it down. Think of the greatness we would miss if an athlete chose not to go to the Olympics because of the possibility they wouldn’t win the gold. I don’t want to miss what I will learn by buckling down and editing my first novel. I had a bit of an epiphany this week: “My first book is NOT going to be the best writing I ever do!” That was a very freeing thought. I gave myself permission to do my best work now, not necessarily my best work ever. Hopefully, I’ll get better as I go. I have a list a mile long of books I want to write and it is imperative that I finish the first one so that I can begin to focus on the next project. Writing is one of the things on my life that I don’t WANT to quit. So, I won’t.
The only regret I will have is if I spend my time thinking about what I wish I would have done, instead of just doing it. Consider Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. The first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. (Spoiler Alert coming up.) He didn’t medal in the final competition but he made it through the Olympic Trials and through the semi-finals. Every other person competing in that final race had 2 legs, and he didn’t have ANY. He had both of his legs amputated below the knees as an infant. The ‘Blade Runner’, as he has become known, didn’t let that stop him from running next to the fastest 400 meter runners in the entire world. I’ll close this entry with a quote from Oscar when asked about his accomplishments this Olympics.
“A loser isn’t the person that gets involved and comes last, but it’s the person that doesn’t get involved in the first place.”
Alright, Oscar, I’ll go edit the dang book. Thanks for the inspiration. If you can run with no feet, then I think I can edit this novel.