There’s a lot that we as writers can learn from the sports arena, especially when it comes to understanding that writing is an endurance activity — one that takes both physical and mental toughness to excel in. When someone asked screenwriting guru Robert McKee how rookies new to the scriptwriting game could best prepare themselves, his advice was to “join a gym” because of the energy and hustle it takes to keep going. Not a bad idea!
That’s why I was drawn to a Parade article about Natalie Randolph, one of the few women to coach boys’ high-school football in the U.S. What struck me most about Natalie is her multifaceted approach: she doesn’t just focus on size and strength, but on mental fitness. In her view, this is the single most important ingredient in success, both on the field and off it. Here are some no-nonsense tips from Natalie’s playbook:
Just do it: People concentrate too much on what other people say and think about them. Let all that go. If you know you can do something, just get on with it and let everyone else say whatever they want to — it’s their issue, not yours.
Show up every day ready to play: No matter how hard the day before was, don’t let it keep you from showing up and doing what you have to do. Never give up.
Be afraid if that’s what you feel: It’s okay to be afraid or feel uncertain, but it’s not okay to
run away from what you’re afraid of. Don’t let fear stop you: keep going in spite of it.
Trust yourself: To make good decisions, you have to trust your instincts and listen to the people around you — the ones you know you can trust — the ones who have your best interests at heart.
Simple, straightforward advice that we can all apply to the “word game” — write on!