“You look: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.”
I saw this sign at a big festive bicycle race at a park on a summer’s day. I was there to watch Alex barrel around a cool course with a few dozen other speedsters and had a lot of fun. While digging into a refreshing coconut ice I glanced across a road and it hit me: Just
like a serious cyclist, when we are in the zone, we are:
Harder: We’re lean, mean writing machines. We are focused, we are tough. We know what it takes to get the job done and we are ready, willing, and totally up to the task ahead. We’ve jettisoned whatever doubts or anxieties that might hold us back and we’ve learned from experience that we can expect a lot from ourselves and, even more important, that we can count on ourselves to deliver the goods.
Better: We’ve put the time in to improve our game and take it to the next level. We know that how we practice is how we play. We’ve made real progress in shoring up weaknesses in our writing: dialogue, plotting, pacing — you name it. As we keep writing, revising,
fine-tuning, and polishing, we see our writing getting sharper, crisper, more muscular.
Faster: As we practice and improve, we find that it’s easier to find our natural rhythm and to sustain it. Some phases and facets of writing that once slowed us down and squeaked, demanding our attention, come to us more easefully. We’ve been around the block more
than once: The obstacles we encounter don’t bring us up short or cramp our style; instead we move over, under, around, and through them more quickly and with less stress.
Stronger: With experience and practice, we’ve become more confident in our abilities and the ever-flowing wellspring of our creativity. We know what it means to bring grit and persistence to overcoming the writing challenges we face, whatever they are and whenever they crop up. We know that we can survive and thrive as we pursue a fulfilling,
rewarding writing life.
OK, we’re harder, better, faster, stronger — we’re good to go. Let’s write on!