Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Four P's Approach to Writing: Persistence

The Four P’s Approach to Writing: Persistence

IV. Persistence

“The skills and confidence spawned by failure allowed me to progress instead of repeating myself, and personal evolution is the ultimate goal of my participation in sport. In this context, success and failure are the same thing, though one feels a bit better than the other.”
-Mark Twight, Gym Jones 

-Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
-Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
-Neil Gaiman

Persistence.  Be prepared to fail.  Be prepared to take risks and challenges. Be prepared to take a face plant in front of the huge, boisterous crowd. If you expose yourself and your writing to the scrutiny of the publishing business, you will get kicked in the teeth. When this happens, get up off the floor ASAP. Don’t give up. Somebody out there is waiting to read your book. Show up every day, plant the buttocks squarely in front of the page and tell you story one word at a time.  Hard work truly is the magic. Simple in theory, but it’s so hard in practice.

Exercise: Dig a story out of your bad idea file, you know that file folder with the picture of the toilet bowl on the tab, read the story again and see what changes can be made.

V. The Fifth P

“Winners do the things losers will not do.”
-Coach Hays, Tiger Conditioning Theme 2006

Like the Fifth Beatle, Performance is the fifth P.  Performance is the culmination of everything.  It is the Friday night football game; it is the pitch session, the query process, the submission, and the interview.  All the work, all the preparation and now it is game time.  Take a deep breath, remember your lines and walk into the spotlight. Time to perform.

I will leave you with one of the great life quotations. It is the one quote I put on everything from my laboratory office wall, to the locker room, to playbooks and condition manuals. Everywhere.  It is from legendary NFL football coach Vince Lombardi.  This quote probably sums up everything I presented in this workshop. I guess I could have just posted this quote and saved you a lot of reading, but what fun is that?

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”  
                                                                        -Vince Lombardi

Thanks for stopping by my MuseItUp June Blog Conference workshop. I hope you found something of interest to help you in your writing career (and who knows, maybe a potential sports coaching career?).  I ramble about my life as a coach, father and writer at my blog (www.coachhays.com).  My middle grade historical fiction debut novel, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is due for release with MuseItUp in February 2012.   

Keep writing stories.  Lord knows, we ALWAYS need good stories.  We can never have too many good stories.

Enjoy the MuseItUp Publishing Blog Conference!

Mike Hays


cleemckenzie said...

Super quotes and ones that should be on the wall behind my desk. Thanks tons.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Wonderful. Thank you!

Rosalie Skinner said...

Powerful ideas, inspiring.
Thanks Mike,

Lisa Forget said...

Thank you so much Mike, for sharing your ideas so passionately with us today.

Wonderful workshop!