When my daughter was about eight years old a gymnastic school opened in our tiny town. All the girls she knew quickly joined, and of course she had to as well. After three months she became bored and didn’t want to go to practice anymore. With some prompting she confessed that she wanted to be able to do all the flips and jumps like the girls on television do, and her teachers weren’t teaching her that. They were more concerned with the baby stuff, like learning to balance on a beam 12 inches instead of four feet from the ground.
I tried to explain that you have to learn the little stuff before you can do the big stuff, otherwise you could hurt yourself. I also tried to explain that it was like building blocks, once you have mastered one tiny step you can go on to the next. She didn’t buy into it and quit.
I recently watched Meryl Davis and Charlie White on Youtube. We don’t have cable, so I wanted to see who was being sent to the Olympics for the U.S. Figure Skating team. I found this couple who will compete in the Ice Dancing portion. If you have not seen these two competitors, I highly recommend you search for them on Youtube. They were awesome! What really stuck me about this couple is that they have been skating together since they were young children, and a commentator mentioned that one of the lifts they were doing in the routine had been practiced for three years before they added it into a skating program.
Three Years! On one small lift.
I have read that when you first start out in skating you must find your balance as the blades are very thin. Sort of like a balance beam. Skaters start out doing figure eights on the ice to warm up and get their balance. The jumps and all the fancy moves come later. But everyone starts out with figure eights, learning the little stuff.
That’s what I have been doing myself when I decided I wanted to get all these stories in my head down on paper. I am learning the little stuff now, so hopefully one day I can make it through to the big stuff.
I am trying to be more disciplined with writing something every day. I have to confess I have hit a dry spell lately. I am afraid I will have to force myself to get back to it. Just as an athlete forces themselves to practice every day whether they feel like it or not.
I want to read at least one book a month on the craft of writing. Again, I do fall short of this goal. I let too many distractions weigh me down and I get caught up in the drama on the home front.
When I decided to start writing I knew I would need help and I researched conferences via the internet. I found one that was not too far away that I could easily drive to with no problems. I have gone to this conference for the past several years now, and I always come away with learning something new. Not to mention getting to spend the weekend with a bunch of characters; other writers I mean.
The writing life can be like an Olympic sport, you have to start out with the little steps before you can make the big ones. Hopefully, I can medal with a published book as my prize some day.
But first, I have to write.