Saturday, April 2, 2011

"B" Is For Big Blue

Longtime readers know I am a hardcore fan of the Kentucky Wildcats.  I spent eight years growing up in Louisville, KY.  During that time, the Cats played in three consecutive championship games (1996-1998) and brought home two NCAA titles.

Tonight, we return to the final four for the first time in thirteen years.  It's a good day to bleed blue!

I recently shared why this team is so important to me.  Our relationship goes beyond winning, performance, or the game itself.  And, since publishing that post, I've learned writers and athletes have more in common than I previously realized. 

Successful athletes consistently train and practice to improve a set of skills.  Each loss develops into a learning experience, unlocking opportunities to learn and grow.  Just as athletes demonstrate perseverance and resiliency in their game, writers must apply these traits on the page.

Although the specific "drills" of writing differ from athletics, the concept is the same.  By writing AND reading regularly, we enhance our skills, learn techniques, and hone our craft.  I believe a successful writer cares for the mind, body, and spirit equally.  By nurturing all three components, we throw our complete selves into our work, thereby developing a final product reflecting our best effort.

How do you "train" as a writer?  What drills ensure a well-rounded workout?

Addendum: It turns out, "B" is also for BUFFOONS! Did Rutgers University REALLY pay Snooki $32K to speak to students?  And will these students one day be responsible for crucial decisions involving my well-being?  YIKES!  C'mon, higher education!!


  1. Writing prompts and blog entries help me to keep the training going, that's for sure.

  2. I think we've witnessed the death of education. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted...

  3. For as long as I remember I have kept a journal in which I write down everything from recipes to poetry. I always have a book I read and tend to collect everything I can from my favorite authors. Blogging is new to me but I think this will also help me train the writer in me and sharpen my writing tools.

  4. 32K for dead air? Stupidity hurts, it really hurts. Wow, did they give her an honorary degree while they were at it? (Hugs)Indigo

  5. I absolutely love that quote by the Dalai Lama at the top of your blog.

  6. I hope they win then. :-)

    My writing training works as follows:

    Stamina: writing 5000 words in a day for two or three consecutive days.

    Sprints: Writing 500 words or more in thirty minutes or less.

    Skill: Submitting my work for critiques.

    Strength: Digging deep and pushing boundaries to write in a way that touches others.


  7. In my case, training was living long enough to have experiences to turn into a memoir (after years of writing stories and poetry).

    Good post. I'm happy to meet you.

  8. I'm not a writer, but I'm pretty sure that a by product of blogging has been improved writing skills.
    "Research" yes I said, "research" and it's in quotes so that makes it true, says, 'the more we read the more our writing improves'. That has been my anecdotal experience in education.
    Therefore I believe I am improving my writing by reading. Thanks for giving me something worthwhile to read. See you later.

  9. I'm not sure I'd say I train, but I do read a lot, both the genre I write in and others. I also read a lot of blogs by writers gaining snippets of useful information from their experience and by sharing. I then write when I can and hope it all comes together.

  10. Pleased to mmet you, experience comes with life, life's ups and downs , happiness and sadness.
    I enjoyed reading your blog, looking forward to the next letter.


  11. new follower here! writing requires patience and constant training--it's the only way we'll ever truly be good at what we do.

  12. Well bro, I'm a sad UNC fan, but I was some glad when Kentucky slayed the beast that was OS. Congrats - stopping by from A2Z!

  13. Blogging has been my best training of late--writing posts and reading entries by others.

    Glad that you're finding the Challenge less stressful than expected. It's great fun isn't it!

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  14. Posted at the half. Sorry the Cats aren't doing well. But there's another half to go. Stop by my B post at One of my 3 words is basketball (I live in Houston). Maybe you can answer my basketball questions.

  15. I agree. I need proper sleep, decent meals, exercise, and my prayer walks. I recently purchased P90X and am loving it in an achy breaky kinda way.

  16. I am not getting the Snooki thing going on. I worry about these young people and their priorities in the world. Spoken like a true old person. As a writer I train by reading, by keeping up my blog as best as I can, and by meeting with a writers' group weekly. And constant editing.

  17. Hi Paul,

    Nice blog and post. Well, lets see, I post everyday, am researching for a book or four, participate in a weekly writing challenge, and read tons. I've been thinking that I should be reading my Thesaurus and the vintage dictionaries that I've picked up at book sales ... seriously. I'm trying to get in on the "language" that makes the greats great.

    Take care,
    Kathy M. from the Land of A-Z


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