Yep, I am totally riding on the Team GB Olympic coat tails this monday morning, I mean seriously, I hate doing anything that involves me working up a sweat, but I am digging on all this Olympic awesomeness. I made eye-water on Saturday as we won gold medal, after gold medal, and I woke up yesterday morning with a heart filled with pride to see a sofa of Team GB Olympic medal wearing girls talking about how they rocked out in their particular field on the TV.
I am SO freakin' proud to be British. This time last year London was on fire, there were riots in the street and we were told 'this is us'. That wasn't us. THIS is us and I'm sending out a love letter to the media to celebrate, and hold these awesome athletes up as role models instead of the over paid footballers and reality TV stars that usually fill the pages o' our newspapers and magazines.
So while buzzing from all the feel-good juju that's currently in the air here in the UK, I got to thinking (in totes Carrie Bradshaw style) what can we learn from these Olympians o' awesome to become kick-ass gold medal writer-girls?
Write the freakin' book. Put fingers to the keyboard, pen to paper, chalk to board, however you roll - these Olympic dudes and dudesses didn't get good by laying on the sofa watching their favourite TV programme, they have to turn down social engagements, get up early to carve more hours in the day, train their asses off and practice their craft. Same goes for writer-girls. You want to write your book o' wonder, tell your story, make awesome shit happen? You have to do the freakin' work. There are no short cuts. One of the commentator dudes during the Murray v Federer tennis final, declared that there really is no such thing as an overnight success and he's right. The likes o' EL James and JK Rowling didn't click their fingers and magickally sell a gazillion books, first they had to put their arse on a seat and write their book. Then they had to get it published, promote it and sell it. Whether you dig their work or not, these writer-girls showed up and did the freakin' work. If you do the same, there is no reason why your book won't take the publishing world by storm. FYI: Believe it or not, initial-ed names are NOT obligatory to success.
Get a bad-ass coach. Why are those athletes crazy kinds o' successful? They've got a coach. A coach is someone whose job is to be on your side. They know how to get the best out of you, see possibilities that you might not be able to see, help you to achieve your maxim-o potential, and most importantly help you to figure out how to get there. Being a writer-girl can be a lonely task and trying to go from idea in your head to publication and promotion as a solo-girl can be a whole lot of anxiety-inducing hard work, which is why I urge every writer-girl to get a coach. I don't care if it's not me - although I am a badass book coach - but to make sure you actually write and publish your book in the best way possible, enhance your skills, and rock it out, a coach/mentor will be your fast-track to success. You need someone you can totally trust, that's been there and done it, who's doing it now, who knows the industry, who will pass on their insight and be your biggest cheerleader and ass-kicker.
Focus. All the best athletes go away to train, to get their head in the game and focus without the interruptions of every-day-ness, so if you think taking time out to write, or signing up to join me in Greece on the Write Your Book retreat is indulgent, costly and time consuming, ask yourself what's the cost of me NOT signing up? If you've got a story to tell, are serious about getting published, want to be coached by experts and get a new perspective on your book in a delicious setting free from real life-y distractions, then it's kinda rude and wrong NOT to sign up. Imagine if Jess Ennis thought, 'training for this heptathlon lark is a little bit self-indulgent, what if I'm not any good? Oh well, I won't even bother trying, I'll just go get a 9 to 5 job and keep my awesome skillz to myself,' the world would be robbed of one o' the most talented athletes girl-kind has ever seen. The same goes for you, if you keep that book idea to yourself, and don't think your awesomeness is worth investing in, The world will NEVER get to read your words, or hear your story, and that, li'l miss writer-girl, is wrong x 100000. Fact.
Do it for you. The awesomeness that is Rebecca Addlington, swam for 'us.' Victoria Pendleton's coach told her to race HER race. Pendleton got gold, Rebecca got bronze. Both are awesome achievements, but when you do ANYTHING based on other people's thoughts, opinions and expectations, it's like carrying around a rucksack o' rocks, it drags you down, slows you up on your journey to success. Yes, your readers are important, but right now, the writing of this book is YOUR journey, it's YOUR story, so do it YOUR way.
Want to write like an Olympian? Join me and Barbara Ford Hammond in Greece for our Write Your Book retreat this September, it will be like training for the Olympics, but instead of sweat-inducing training regimes with a medal as your reward, you'll be coached in word writing and book publishing, in a delicious sun-kissed setting, and your reward will be YOUR story, in book form, with YOUR name on it. Oh, and a cocktail or two.