“Volleyball practice ends at seven tonight, ” I yelled as I left for school in the morning.
“I’ll be there,” would be my Mom’s reply.
This exchange took place every morning, with a few alterations of time and sport.
As life wound its way forward, I found the same words echoing through my own home, for my own children, for baseball, softball, bowling, track, and band. Efforts to provide power packed snacks, specialized gear, clean uniforms, and rides for each and every practice, culminated in them being able to showcase their skills on the field, lane, and stage.
Aside from those few prodigies, and every sport has them, any activity we wish to excel at will require the correct equipment, direction, and dedication. Writing may not be a team sport, but it is a collaborative effort. All writers need support, tools, and venues to showcase their talents. Though the practice field, gear, and uniform may be extremely different, the concepts are ultimately the same; it takes practice, patience, and time to hone any skill.
Surrounding yourself with the appropriate writer’s gear, coaching, and practice venues can make all the difference in your performance. So, what do the support, tools, and venues look like? They can be as simple as a writer’s notebook and personal research, or a bit more involved, such as a visit to a writing center or joining a writer’s group for inspiration and encouragement. What it all really boils down to is practice, patience, and time, put in outside of the required reading, writing, and speaking we may be experiencing in our daily lives, which in turn positively impacts our performance on the writing ‘field’.
Whether it’s the satisfaction of watching that perfect ace strike the floor on your opponent’s court, or seeing your work published for others, the practice, patience, and time you invest today, will make tomorrow’s rewards that much sweeter.