Perfection Takes Practice, And Sometimes a Team

Dribble, pass, shoot, score!! Yay!! Betcha’ can’t tell where I spent the weekend? That’s right—in a gymnasium watching my granddaughter’s basketball games—all weekend long! I now have a serious case of bleacher-butt, though I couldn’t be more proud watching those girls, and had even a little more pride in the fact that my son is their coach. He took after his Dad. (Can I say proud one more time, please?)

And one of the things that my husband passed down to his son is the lesson that practice makes perfect. Always keep working on the next drill that will make the difference between loosing and winning. Keep shooting for the hoop, because you can’t make the basket unless you take the shot, and most of all; keep your head in the game, don’t give up, and always do your best, regardless of what the score is.

So if practice makes perfect, for as long as I’ve been writing, I should be a master by now. I should be up there with the likes of Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, and Maya Angelou, and someday I will be.

Okay, call me over-confident, or cocky, or a big dreamer, but I’m also a realist. I’m not saying that anything can’t happen, especially if there is the will, the drive, and the follow through. But we all know that the Golden Ring is a hard one to grasp, and each of us have a different vision of what that Golden Ring looks like.

Obviously, for me, that ring represents my books hitting it big on the NY Times best seller list. But I couldn’t have even stepped up to the carousel, or even chosen a horse to mount on this crazy merry-go-round I’ve found myself on if I didn’t have a team to go with me. Just like on my son’s basketball team, some of the girls will play the center position, or the power forward, or the point guard, but they all have a role to play, and nobody can win the game alone.

In my office I have some inspirational quotes and writings hanging on the wall to remind me that anything worth attaining is worth working for, and that miracles do happen for those who believe. But it takes more than belief, wishing and hoping.

It’s kind of like that 1950s Dusty Springfield song; “Wishing, and hoping, and thinking, and praying, planning and dreaming won’t get you into his arms….♪ ♫ ♪ ♫…” Okay, I just totally dated myself. But since I’ve already mentioned I had granddaughters…. okay, I’m not exactly a spring chicken, but I’m also not dead yet. I have a lot of living left to do and things I yet want to accomplish. Holding my published books in my hand has been the biggest goal in my life right now, and as I already mentioned, I couldn’t even begin to visualize doing so without my team.

A basketball team needs at least five players, hopefully with a few subs on the bench, but it’s a game that cannot be played alone. It’s a team sport. To be successful and win a few games will take time, relying on each other’s skills, and a lot of practice. A LOT OF PRACTICE!!

I also realize that I have to be a bit selfish about my writing time. Just like my son has to hold practice twice a week to work on those basketball drills, I also have to prioritize my time. Putting practice into the art of writing, seeking out new ways to market and increase my readership, and focus on reaching that Golden Ring of being a bestselling author are the drills that I’m currently running up and down the court, and they have to be as important as anything else in my life. Working on perfecting my writing, growing my audience, and building my author platform are the skills I’ve been working on so eventually the game can be won. And though my efforts are not counted by the number of balls I can swoosh though a net, there will still be a score at the end of game, and it can be a very long game that goes into overtime. When I feel the opponent is taking the lead and I’m having a tough time keeping my head in the game, that is when I have to look to the bench for backup—my team. And my team consists of my editors, my book designer, my marketing-savvy niece, and a guy who keeps my website running.

With of all of this due diligence that I and my team are putting in now, I’m confident that someday all of this hard work and effort will pay off. I’ll dribble that basketball down the court, weaving and dodging through the opponents defensive, and slam dunk that ball through the net! Well, maybe not a slam dunk, since I’m only a gnat’s ass taller than five feet, but I can at least do a lay in.

Taking those steps toward the hoop with my team at my side, I know I will eventually make the winning basket, score enough points to win the game, and finally grab that Golden Ring. Swoosh!

                                                      And the girls won the tournament!!  Hooray for our team! 


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