Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Finish Strong

The last step of the mantra is thus: Finish Strong. (Thanks to Katie for adding it.)

Dude, I can't even begin to tell you how hard this step is. It's freaking hard. It's harder than not giving up. Than working hard.

Why?

Because it's hard to want to finish if you can't be first. Isn't that what we're always told? Second place is the first loser? Win or go home and all that? So yeah. When you immerse yourself in the writing community the way I have, and you see all your friends crossing the finish line with flags waving and crowds cheering and you've still got three laps to go...

Holy hard.

So I started reminding myself every day of this fact. I'd say this inside my own head, "It's finish strong. Not finish first. Just finish." Sometimes I'd say it fifty times. Or one hundred. Or whatever it took to keep the finish line in sight.

Because if you lose sight of that finish line...you've fallen flat on your face in the quitters pile. And we've already determined not to give up.

So the mantra is thus:
Work Hard.
Don't Give Up.
Finish Strong.

In honor of all those who've helped me do just that, I've created this (rather lame) badge. I'm passing it on to them, and they can pass it on to anyone they want. Maybe someone who's helped them work hard, keep the faith and finish the race. Whatever that race is, writing or otherwise. (Yes, that's Michael Phelps. Talk about the epitome of the mantra.)



27 comments:

christine said...

Thanks Elana - - - I actually needed this today. And being a total swimmer family, LOVE this badge!

Tere Kirkland said...

This is definitely one to bookmark for when I'm feeling down. Thanks, Elana!

And thanks to all of you ladies for showing the rest of us that hard work, determination and persistence pays off.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Thank you for the reminder, that it isn't about winning the , but about crossing the finish line.

I can't wait to chest bump that ribbon spanning the length of the racetrack. (I know your post dealt with a swimming analogy, but I picture myself in my running shorts.)

(I'm not sure why, since I don't use or even own running shorts.)

Christina Lee said...

aww very nice! ok I'm going to flex my muscles and keep going...

ali said...

YES! I love this mantra. It totally rocks. And I love your badge, it's awesome.

Thanks for sharing these pearls with us the past few days Elana!

Kristi said...

I totally suck at the butterfly stroke and he makes it look so easy in this picture - which explains his gazillion medals. Anyway, I'm feeling close to the Finish Strong part but it feels good to see other people crossing that line because I know it's possible.

Carolyn V. said...

Finish strong, I love that! You're right, finishing strong is better than finishing first. Awesome post, thanks =)

Paul said...

Great post Elana! Finish Strong. It's so true especially since you often think you are done and you're not.

Like climbing a mountain. There are many false summits where you think you see the top and then when you get to that point you see there is a lot more climbing ahead. That might happen repeatedly. Just keep going, don't worry about the other climbers because you are only doing your climb.

Icy Roses said...

Wow, this came just at the right time. Last night, I was having my freakout session about not being able to finish and might as well quitting, because it was a total waste of time.

Thanks for the post!

Paul West said...

Thanks Elana. You hit the nail on the proverbial head. I've been trying to write and sell my first novel for over 23 years. I see a lot of my writer friends finishing and selling their works, and I share in their elation, hoping someday my book will sell too. The key is to have faith in your work and keep honing your craft. It's taken me longer than most - I've had to revise my novel several times - but I have faith that it will eventually sell.

I wish you good luck with your projects as well.

Paul

Abby Annis said...

Awesome badge! :) And I'm loving your posts this week. Very motivating!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Great advice Elana! It's exactly what I needed to hear this week :)

Angie said...

I love your mantra! Thanks for some great posts. (I really want that badge, just to have a reminder.)

Bethany Wiggins said...

Elana, Thank you so much. Finishing strong is the hardest part and you did it.

Blog on!

Eric said...

Elana, that's an awesome badge. And once again your posts are very timely. I'm struggling through this "middle of the book" thing, but I just keep telling myself to keep going. I will not fail, dammit! Oh sorry, the soldier in me came out there :) Nice job.

Suzette Saxton said...

I'm honored, Elana, truly honored. The badge is beautiful! Thank you so much. And you did finish strong!

Katie said...

Ooo!!!!! How fun! My first badge!!!! Excuse me while I try to put it up now :-)

Secretia said...

I like that, it's powerful, Don't lose sight of the finish line.

ElanaJ said...

Dude, Angie, take it! You deserve it girl.

And I'm glad this is a good reminder for everyone. It certainly was for me. And it's not like my race is over yet. Not by a long shot. But still.

Suzyhayze said...

awesome.

BTW my word verification is buteds. Ha!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm trying to do just that. Finish. Whether it's strong or not, I don't know. I'm in survival mode.

Thanks for sharing these, Elana. They've meant a lot to me.

Jemi Fraser said...

Nice post! I'm trying to decide what to do with my finished ms. This is pointing me in the right direction.

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh my gosh, Elana! This is such an honor! We love you so much and are so freaking proud of you for finishing strong!

And now we just need to take your advice as we're wrapping up the WIP.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love the badge and I love the idea of finishing strong. But what is the finish line?

I think the longer you're at this, the finish line keeps changing. First it's finish the book, then it's edit the book, then find an agent, then edit the book, then get it published, then write another...the finish line keeps moving!

Katie Ganshert said...

I love you mantra. All three phrases. So true. Not just in the writing life. But in everything. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Whoo hoo! love the mantras!

Hardygirl said...

SO TRUE!!!

Tenacity and that ability to finish is what sets a good writer apart.

Go, go, go!!!!!!!

sf

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