Everything I’ve learned about writing this year I’ve relearned by watching the Olympics [series Part Two]

On Monday, I brought up some thoughts inspired by 10 days spent watching the recent winter Olympics in Vancouver on TV. Here are two more lessons I culled which offer relevance and perspective for writers:

Expect to earn your medals every time.

Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis kinda blew it in Torino. She hotdogged her way to a second place in women’s snowboard cross when she had the gold medal practically around her neck on that last slope.

Jacobellis has had to live that down for the last 4 years and went to Vancouver hoping to redeem herself. It didn’t quite happen: this year, Continue reading

Everything I’ve learned about writing this year I’ve relearned by watching the Olympics [series Part One]

Hi everyone! I want to thank Jeff at BookLife for inviting me to take the reins this week at his wonderful, must-read blog. There are few things I love more than blogging about and for writers and writing, so it’s an honor to do so at one of the smartest writing blogs out there.

Anticipating the content of my posts this week has been rather challenging: there’s so much to write about! But it came to me on Saturday as I realized my interest in the Olympics was beginning to wane. 

I’d seen all I needed to see of curling, short track speed skating, downhill, bobsled, snowcross and the like. But the Olympics always linger in my mind long after the network has packed up its cameras and talking heads and returned to regularly scheduled programming. 

Witnessing (live or on TV) the prowess of the world’s athletes is always inspiring to me. I grew up in a sports household (baseball, basketball, track and field, gymnastics, soccer, football, softball, volleyball, tennis have all been played with regularity by at least one member of my immediate family), so I’m already in the practice of appreciating the work that goes into excelling at sports. 

But the world’s finest athletes perform with a caliber and grace that takes human experience beyond what it means to be fit or a sound competitor. These are the titans of the modern day, and like the titans of the past, the masses can’t help but idolize them as the demi-gods they truly are. 

This week, I offer the series, “Everything I’ve learned about writing this year I’ve relearned by watching the Olympics” in three parts. As writers, we have cobbled together our own hopes and dreams for becoming the future titans of the literary world. We have much to learn from athletes, and this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ll give examples that show how writers can learn from the trials of Olympians.

Today I’ll talk about discipline and perseverance.  Continue reading

Good For Your Booklife: In Praise of Indie Bookstores

One thing about my recent five-week book tour behind Finch and Booklife that I particularly loved was getting to read in so many great independent bookstores. Indies are extremely important to the well-being of book culture and often serve as strongholds for author events. This month, Indiebound has listed Finch as one of its Indie Notables, something I’m very proud of.

You can find some longer descriptions of indies in my book tour reports for Omnivoracious, but below the cut I’ve written downpersonal impressions of the indie bookstores I visited during the tour–including some little-known facts about each. A huge thanks to each and every one of them.

I’m also rolling out the new Finch negative campaign ad video (see above). Friends and fans from all over the world contributed to the video. After some bugs in moviemaker, Matt Staggs stepped in to finish it, including doing the voice-over. If you like the book, please feel free to post the video and a link to Indiebound this month, along with your own praise of the indies. Thanks.

Continue reading