Friday, November 26, 2010
The art of Losing.
Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know that I fight. Yep, as in boxing. Yep, in a real ring with a real girl who throws real punches. (oh, don't I know it)
And here's the thing. Boxing is a lot more like writing than you would expect.
To win a fight you have to want it. You have to train hard and be hard and box harder. And when the other girl is up in your face and you are deep into the third quarter and long past the ability to suck in a decent amount of air you have to remind yourself how much you want it. And when it's all over you have to hope that was enough.
And sometimes... sometimes it isn't.
Tonight it wasn't.
I lost my boxing match tonight by one point.
Got any idea how many times I have been over the fight in my head and saw all the places I could have picked up one measly point? I'll tell you. Too many times.
And writers, it's the same thing with books. You gotta want it and train hard and writer harder. And when the hours are long and lonely and the book up in your face demanding things of you you aren't sure you can deliver, you have to remind yourself how much you want it. And when it's all over you have to hope that was enough.
And sometimes... a lot of times. It won't be.
What do you tell yourself then?
What is your internal dialogue like when the thing you want you can't have and you really have no one but you to blame?
There is an art to losing writers. An art to not getting what you want.
In boxing there is an art to getting back into training the week following a losing fight. There is an art to saying, "I did what I could and it was not enough." And then going after what you want again.
In writing there is an art to writing another book following the one no agent wanted. Or re-writing the query letter and manuscript after enough rejections to wall paper you house.
That people, is what separates the true fighters out there. And as writers we fight too. We fight everyday for what we want and who we want to be. In fact no matter who you are or what you want, life is far more about art of losing than it is winning. Because most of us will spend more time losing than winning. It's what you do after you gave everything and failed that really determines what you are made of. That, I think, is the art of losing.
For now, though, I'm off to bed. Cause I kinda hurt. In my head and in my heart. (Some of my ribs don't feel to great either) Tomorrow I'll have a little chat with Me. Me needs to hear that she fought a good fight and lost. I'm proud of her. And she needs to hear that next week she will be back training. Yes body. I did say next week.
Especially if you too are learning the art of losing.