Just like everybody else in the world I have been enjoying the Olympics tremendously. If crying while watching the Olympics could be an Olympic event I would have many, many gold medals. It is so amazing to watch dreams coming true right in front of my very eyes (albeit through a camera lens). Watching the parents as their children excel is crazy. There are two things that have come to mind as I have watched hours upon hours of Olympic sports.
1 - It is astonishing to me how the Olympics suddenly make people so judgemental. We are all so amazed at the talent and skill possessed by all these athletes until they mess up. Then suddenly we are saying things like how much they suck or we could do better than that. Or is that only my family? It is easy for me to be sitting on my couch snacking and berating an Olympian for failing (although really I am usually crying for them) but I am not the one that has spent my whole life training for this event. I haven't spent hours a day for the last 15 years training and then not being rewarded for that training. I can't even imagine the heartache that they must feel. However, getting to the Olympics is amazing! They have all beat out so many amazing athletes just to get there in the first place. That is more than billions of people have been able to do. That should be enough.
So this made me think of how often we do this to authors too. I have read so many reviews by people that think that the author should have solved a love triangle differently (hello Edward-Bella-Jacob or Gale-Katniss-Peeta), or finished a conflict differently or blah, blah, blah. The point is that we aren't the ones who have spent hours every day for years developing these characters. Now that I have become serious about writing I truly understand that a writer loves their characters and they know their characters much better than we ever could hope to know them. We may not agree with the way the author did things but they are the ones that wrote the book, not us. It is not our decision. They are the ones who suffered rejection before getting published. If it fails, it is not our heartache, it is theirs. This is why I have made a personal decision to never leave a negative review of a book online (Goodreads, Amazon, my blog, etc.). I may tell friends and family to avoid a certain book but I will never publicly criticize an author's work.
2 - I always wanted to compete in the Olympics. My problem - I am not skilled in any Olympic sport. I'm thinking of training in Badminton for 2016. Or growing between 6 inches and a foot and training really hard in volleyball. But that really is never going to happen. However, over the last few months I have realized that I can possibly succeed at another dream of mine - writing.
I always loved writing while growing up but I never believed that I could really do anything with it. Then I got married and had kids and REALLY thought that I couldn't do anything with it. But I still had these stories floating around in my head. Sometimes I would write out the beginnings and give up and others I wouldn't even start. Then a while ago I found out that my sister-in-law was writing a book. I was so excited and I thought maybe I should start writing too. I didn't start right away. Then I went to my first writing conference and I was totally inspired. I don't even have to grow 6 inches to write a book. I just need to work hard. I really still don't know if I can ever be a published author but that is not my goal right now. I don't want to ever question whether or not I could have been published. I can't be published if I don't write the book. Just like I could never be an Olympian because I never trained in a sport. I couldn't just say "I'm going to be in the Olympics someday" and then not ever do anything about it. I can't say "I'm going to be a published author" and then not put any work in. What do I think will be published? My grocery lists? For now, I'm training. I'm writing. I'm not focusing on the gold, I'm focusing on doing my best just to be an Olympic contender. I'm writing the best book I can write at this time, but even more importantly, I'm writing.