Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Amount of Work it Takes

Okay, so we watch a lot of sports at our house. I've seen documentaries about players, movies about teams, and more football games than I care to admit. True, half the time I don't know where the ball is, but there's something inspiring about sports.

And I think that something is work.

I teach elementary school typing. It's a fine motor skill that's hard for some kids. I teach several writing classes. In an attempt to help those who struggle in typing and as part of most of my presentations, there's one thing I do.

I tell them how much work it takes to get good at something. How if you want to become a good typist, or a good soccer player, or a good trumpeter, you have to practice. A lot.

I tell them that Steve Young didn't show up on the field one day and win the Super Bowl MVP.

I tell them that Michael Phelps didn't wake up one morning and say, "I think I'll go to the Olympics and win eight gold medals."

We can't expect that we'll show up in front of the keyboard and type perfectly or quickly. Or that we can just go to the games on Saturday and score all the goals.

So we certainly shouldn't think that we'll be able to sit down at our laptops and write the next bestseller.

It takes a lot more work than that.

Writing is like sports or typing. The more you practice, the better you'll get. You just have to be willing to put in the work.

So are you ready to put in the work?

20 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

Very, very true! I'm putting in the work. Hopefully one day I'll see success.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've definitely put the time. Stll am. That's the real test if you should be a writer. If you hate doing it without the instant rewards, then you shouldn't be doing it.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true Elana with writing as well as sports or anything you want to do well. Yes, I'm up for writing even if the reward doesn't include publication.

Carolee Dean said...

I work with struggling students who HATE writing. I'm always trying to come up with ways to inspire them. Thanks for the tips.

The eleventh grade special education English class is taught by our football coach. He will love the sports analogy! He will also be impressed if I act like I know who Steve Young is:)

Liza said...

Such a simple thought really, and so very true. I'm off to "practice" now.

JeffO said...

Pounding, pounding, pounding away.

Julie Daines said...

This is a great lesson that kids these days seem to be missing out on. I know my kids always think if they can't be good instantly, then they should give up. You're a good teacher Elana.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great post, Elana. To get really good at something takes lots of hard work and dedication.

Donna K. Weaver said...

So true, Elana. You learn by doing. Lots.

Angela Brown said...

I hear you. And it's good to know that the work doesn't stop when the first draft is completed. The work doesn't stop when an agent or a book deal is acquired. Work will be continuous. But when doing something you love, it is WELL worth the work.

Martha Ramirez said...

You got it, Elana! That's right! It takes time and work to excel/grow in any field. So many people want the easy way. It all boils down to how bad do you want it.

No room for laziness if you want something worthwhile.

:-) Awesome post!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

AMEN, Elana - the nth degree! And some of us are very sloooow learners. *raises hand*
:-)

Angie said...

Oh,yeah. I'm ready. I think it's weird how most of us really do expect to just sit down and churn out a best seller before we actually start writing. I wonder why that is? I wouldn't expect to pick up a musical instrument and play like a pro on my first try.

Jemi Fraser said...

So true!! I tell my students the same thing. There's so much pride that comes with doing something hard - it's a good thing :)

Rachelle said...

So true! My hubby says I'm a workaholic. I tell him I'm just driven.

Cathy Keaton said...

We definitely can't assume we'll be the exception to the rule, and write the next bestseller just by sitting down and gracing our keyboards with our presence. Most authors who write bestsellers didn't get there overnight. Gotta keep on practicing and write away.

Leigh Covington said...

Knowing that you teach typing too makes it SO MUCH COOLER! I love it! And I love this post not only because I can apply it to myself but because I can use it in class!!! WAHOO! Thanks Elana! Great points! Love it!

Nichole Giles said...

Ready! Working hard. Practicing daily. And that is why good things are happening now. :-) Great post.

Rebecca Taylor said...

So powerful. I work in schools too, as a school psychologist, and I'm often talking with kids about the power of practice. I think it's important for kids to understand that professionals, in any field, don't just wake up one day a master of their craft.

Nicole said...

Ready and willing!

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