I just returned with my family from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, after a gruelling weekend of AA Provincial Ringette Championships. My daughter is a player and while her team fared well during round robin play and even in the game to move on to semi’s, some poor decisions cost them both the gold and then even the bronze. They placed 4th, which is still nothing to balk at, except when you know what could have been if things had been done differently.
During the last 3 games, I had several anxiety attacks. The games were close and I so badly wanted this for her. I’m Mom after all and Mom’s want their children happy. How could a gold medal at the most prestigious event in her sport next to Nationals, not make her happy? The pressure on them was intense and knowing that as I watched her play her heart out nearly killed me. Things got so intense in the Semi-final game, I actually had to leave the rink. Since I suffer from anxiety, my body tremors had gotten so bad I couldn’t see straight anyway. Unfortunately, having lost that game, they were sent on to the bronze medal game. At the end of the game, the score was tied 1-1 and again, I was tempted to leave. A little part of me wishes I had. Tired players were pushed to the brink of collapse, while other players were held back and ultimately, a breakaway came forth to the opposing team and our goalie didn’t stand a chance. Game over. No medal. Nothing for all their hard work.
What a devastating weekend. My daughter and I cried on the way home. I silently asked myself “why do we put so much pressure on ourselves and our children to be number one? Why do high hopes and dream come with such drastic, gut-wrenching moments that more often than not end in heartbreak?” They tell me someone has to win. I guess if you’re going to compete at something, that’s true.
I realized the same pressures face writers every day – particularly new emerging authors. We work so hard, push ourselves to the limit and face rejection countless times, maybe even forever. Some of us are lucky to win the game. Some of us are lucky to win the game in a big way.
Ultimately, there’s no reason for my daughter’s team to hang their heads and mutter we are 4th in the Province. Hey, they ranked 4th in the Province! There’s also no need for any author to be discouraged that they haven’t hit the #1 Best Sellers list. Each milestone along the journey should be trumpeted and viewed as an accomplishment whether you become one of the most recognized authors in the world or not. Getting there should be part of the fun. Writing the tale, should make you #1.
I’ve published two books; an accomplishment others are still dreaming of. So if you’re one of those dreamers, keep going. Maybe it’s not the last novel you wrote the world was meant to see, but somewhere in you, lies a tale that needs to be told even for one person to enjoy. That, my friends, is pure Gold.