Before I talk about today's "Tool of the Trade", I'd like to point your attention to something that is most definitely NOT a necessary part of my writing. The python. Especially of thechild eating variety.
What is part of my toolkit are great people. For this discussion, let's define great people as calculated risk taking doers. They don't theorize, they don't nay-say, and they don't rest on their laurels. They get it done when nobody else does. They are often called lucky and usually are the focal point of a great deal of jealousy. Many people don't like them claiming that these people are arrogant or assertive but I suspect that what is really driving those negative feelings is self-examination - and seeing where we come up short.
Before you totally disagree with me, I know that some people are just horrible to be around and we both know people that the other of us wouldn't care for, but that isn't what I'm talking about. There are also lucky people but I think that if more people were willing to latch onto a possibility, take a chance, and go for it, we'd see there were a lot more lucky people in the world.
I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a mature entrepreneur last night. He has made hay pretty much everywhere and lives very comfortably. We were laughing because he's retired about six times but says you can only play so many rounds of golf before you need something else to do. (I can only make excuses about not completing my writing projects so many times before I'm not really trying anymore.) He then told a really neat story about my 2nd cousin who has dreamed of being a professional soccer player for about ever. I remember when he made a college choice based on soccer and how much discussion ensued - "You're crazy for doing this. Nobody plays professional soccer."
But some people do. He's now in Guatemala playing for a Manchester United farm team. There aren't a lot of people playing professional soccer when you look at a global population of 7 billion, but there are some. They're the people who don't just say, "Man, I want to bend it like Beckham and then marry a Spice Girl." They're the people who put the hours in to practice, they fight family and friends and people they don't know who say, "You'll never make it. Be real." I have little doubt in my mind that he'll leave the minor league and play for a major European professional team.
What about you? What are you doing? Are you serious about this writing thing? I mean really serious? I know you're talking up a good game, but are you a doer? I don't think it was luck that got my short story accepted for publication last month, I think it was confidence combined with work - I believed it was good enough that someone should read it and I researched appropriate markets and then read the submission guidelines VERY carefully. I'm not any luckier than you at all - I sent out three stories and had two rejections. An incredible average that will only go down.
I'm looking out at the ocean and can't see the other side. There were only a handful of people with the courage to set out across it. Watching the waves beat back the shore it's easy to see why so many people gave up or didn't even try. That's okay - less competition for us.