The Steven Bradbury of Writing



It has been one of the those weeks.  A week where I haven’t enjoyed writing.  Where I have felt discouraged.  Where I felt overwhelmed with the fact that there is no way to know for sure that I will ever get published.  Where I read a great book and wonder how I think I can ever compete?  Where the idea of handing work to my writing group makes my fingers shake above the keyboard?

When I first started writing I followed a pattern:

  • Write regularly for a while.
  • Have one of those days where everything I wrote and everything I read that I had wrote seemed awful.
  • Stop writing for two months out of discouragement.
  • Open the document again and decide maybe it isn’t that bad.
  • Write regularly for a while.
  • And repeat…

And surprise, surprise, I never got my novel done.

I know that every writer feels this way and that I am not the best judge of my writing.  But at the same time it is hard to work towards something that seems so out of your control.

It has been a while since I’ve had such a difficult time of it, but this last month all those doubts and feelings have come back to haunt me.  But I have kept writing, kept ticking back the words, and managed to keep focused on getting work done.  My mind-set has changed.

If I think about how hard it is to be published, I will find it hard to write.  If I compare myself to others, I will find it hard to write.  But I have a new technique, a new philosophy that is keeping me on the keyboard.  A new mission.

I will be the Steven Bradbury of Writing.

Steven Bradbury was the first Australian to win a Gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games.  He was a speed-skater, and was expected to finish last in the final.  How then did he win?  Well, there are a collision and the other skaters all crashed just before the finish-line.  Steven remained standing and crossed the line first.

At the time, it became a huge joke, because it seemed like the most hilariously Australian thing to win something because everyone else fell down.  But of course it was more than that.  Steven was a veteran of his sport, and a hard working athlete.  He was happy to be there and just wanted to do his best.  But he knew there was always a chance of a medal if he just kept standing.

See where I am going with this? 🙂

I have decided I am going to be the Steven Bradbury of writing.  I may not always feel like the best writer in the race.  But the race hasn’t finished yet.  So I will keep writing.

Maybe I don’t know everything there is to know about writing.  So I will take every opportunity to learn everything I can.  And I will keep writing.

When I get negative feedback on my novel, I will not let it stop me.  I will work out what I need to improve it and I will make it sing.  I will keep writing.

When, exactly like I feel as I write these words, the words seem too hard to get out and I want to go to bed and dream of being a writer instead of writing?  I will work towards the dream.  I will keep writing.

Stephen King says the difference between the talented and successful individual is a lot of hard work.

And hard work I can do.

I will keep writing.

(I had fun reliving SB’s exciting race while thinking about my new philosophy and this post.  Here is a wonderful little Youtube video about Steven Bradbury’s history and the race)



2 thoughts on “The Steven Bradbury of Writing

  1. What a great post! I love that idea – that I could do too 😀 Nice to have a visual example to hang it on too – makes the whole thing (and often very non-glamorous process) seem a lot more inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

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