O Canada!

I admit it. I love the Olympics. Yes, too much money is spent on them (but then I think too much money is spent on professional sports and entertainment, too). Still, the Olympics do something that nothing else has ever accomplished. For seventeen days they bring the world together in peace, focused on the single goal of excellence.

The official opening ceremonies for the XXI Winter Olympiad were last night in Vancouver, Canada, and my family and I were glued to the television for the duration. There were 60,000 people in BC Place listening to introductions, speeches, and great Canadian entertainment complete with awesome special effects. But, as always, the lighting of the Olympic cauldron was the highlight for me. I’m emotional about it. That flame coming to us all the way from Athens, Greece via 45,000 km of Canadian communities in the hands of 12,000 torchbearers symbolizes so much.

There are places on the Internet where you can find all the details about who participated, read about the tragic death of Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a practise run, hear commentaries about how the fourth beam of the cauldron’s support structure malfunctioned, and check the results of today’s events. At this moment, however, I’m looking at what all the dedication, determination, and perseverance has achieved, and what it could mean if applied to our writing.

If we had that kind of dedication to our goals, if we were determined to write our very best, finish what we started, work with single-mindedness towards publication, might we fight past the obstacles instead of letting them defeat us? Would we discipline ourselves to utilize better work habits, and refuse to be deflected from precious writing time or be discouraged by repeated rejections?

If you approached your writing with the attitude of an Olympic athlete in training, focused on success, what difference do you think it would it make?

[Image photographed from TV coverage courtesy of TSN]

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12 thoughts on “O Canada!

  1. joylene says:

    Jennifer Heil won first medal for Canada. Yay!!!

  2. With the proper attitude, my novel would be finished, polished and awaiting replies from the many agents I’d have researched and queried. Instead, I tend to focus on the fact that most writers don’t get published, and try to fit in writing around all the other things in my life.

    • I think every writer approaches the craft from a slightly different perspective. Our goals aren’t always the same and neither are the obstacles. Developing a process that is right for us is the thing. 🙂

  3. joylene says:

    LOL, sorry. Hit submit before I was ready. I wanted to say that before I was published I thought being published would be the ultimate experience. It would validate my existence. Today that feeling has been replaced with the idea that I must improve my craft, make each new book better than the one before. So, yes, I would say that it’s all about dedication. For a writer, success may change, but the road to it remains the same.

  4. Laura Best says:

    I suppose it would depend upon the individual’s idea of success. For me, having a book published is how I defined success but I know others might think that completing their novel was or others might not count it as success unless it sold many thousands of copies and won awards.

    I supposed if I focused entirely upon success I’d be spending much more time at the computer than I do. But then I’d be forcing my creativity instead of letting my creativity find me.

    • When I think of some of the successful people I know I realize that most have different approaches… different degrees of determination, drive and energy. Not all of us have the same motivation to go, go, go. Your comment about forcing creativity instead of letting your creativity find you is something to seriously consider.

  5. I’d like to think I’m that dedicated! Of course, someone who worked at writing so hard, to the exclusion of everything else, might quickly find him or herself alone, friendless, and incredibly tired. To be obsessed is to burn out quickly, imo.

    • As I mentioned to Laura above, I guess dedication means different things to different people. Some people have so much drive that watching them exhausts me! They seem to thrive while I know if I moved at that pace I’d burn out for sure.

  6. Dave Ebright says:

    Let me be the 1st to congratulate the Canadians on their first gold – Moguls. Very cool.

    • This Canadian thanks you, Dave. 🙂 It’s a big deal for us. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the USA is doing exceedingly well with six medals to our three, including a gold. So congratulations back atcha!

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