Monday, April 22, 2019

Advice from the Greatest of All Time

Erica here,



If you know me at all, you know I am OBSESSED with rugby. Not just any rugby, but Rugby Union...the game they play in heaven. :)  And not just any Rugby Union, but the New Zealand All Blacks, the greatest sports team in history.  (They have a winning record against every team they have ever played, beginning in 1903.)

My All Blacks performing the haka at Twickenham Stadium before
the 2018 match against the Barbarians. (Barbarians are a side made up of
international all stars invited to participate. A fun spectacle for fans!)

The most capped (a cap is an appearance in an official test match between national teams) All Black is the great Richie McCaw (148 test caps, 110 as captain of the side.) Three times named World Rugby Player of the Year, two time world champion, most capped test rugby player of all time, and destined for the Rugby Hall of Fame, Richie McCaw rose to the top of his field and stayed there for an unequaled length of time.

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash


So, when he spoke of his three tips for achieving excellence, I certainly was interested...and I saw the parallels between becoming an excellent rugby player and becoming an excellent writer.

Here are Richie's tips, with my own thoughts after each one:



Tip 1:


"The first one that I really live by is that you can't go past hard work, if you think it's going to be easy, if you achieve it when it's easy you're probably not going to get the satisfaction of what it's all about."

Writing is hard work. Writing well is harder work. Even if you LOVE writing, (and who doesn't?) at least part of the time, it is going to be difficult. You're not going to feel like it. You are going to be rejected, criticized, and told your work isn't good enough.

Are you willing to work? Not dabble, not daydream about writing, but actually buckle down and do the work of writing? Are you willing to study and try and fail? Are you willing to invest your time, your heart, and your money? As Richie says, you can't go past hard work.

Tip 2:


"Attention to detail, understanding of what it takes as not everyone knows, asking for advice or asking for help from people around you who can see things from a different way."

Great writers aren't born, they're made. You can have raw talent, but perfecting and maturing that talent takes time and attention to detail. It takes learning from those who have gone before you and those who are on the journey with you. Nobody has all the answers, but everyone who has achieved what you want to achieve has experience and information.

That's one (of about a bazillion or so) reason that I love Seekerville. For more than a decade, women who have been there and done that freely share their experiences and viewpoints and celebrate the successes of those who reach for their dreams.

Tip 3:


"You got to have that drive. It's not someone telling you that you've got to work hard, you've got to really want to do it yourself and I think the people who have that are the most successful."

The motivation to be great at anything, to stick with it through the less-than-glamorous times, has to come from within. You cannot hope to achieve your dreams without desire and ambition to do so. You can't want to climb this mountain for someone else. You have to want it for yourself, and you have to be driven to do it.


Writing well, like doing anything else well takes hard work, a humble spirit willing to learn, and an inner drive to reach for your dreams. What are you doing this week to implement these tips to move you closer to your goals?


You can watch Richie's interview here:





Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she is married to her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!



Available May 1st!!!! Order your copy now!!!

Dreams of Finding Mr. Right Go Wrong in the Old West

Erica's story:

The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch
Kansas, 1875
A mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible?
 
You can order your copy HERE

28 comments:

  1. I know for me I need to spend more time DOING the writing rather than READING about writing or DREAMING about writing or THINKING about writing. Just do the thing, already! Thanks for a great motivational post on a Monday morning!

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    1. Glynis, I'm glad you found the post inspiring and I hope you get lots of words WRITTEN this week! :)

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  2. I'm putting coffee pot on, and there's tea if you'd rather have that!

    Great advice, Erica!

    I have to admit that I've never watched a rugby game. Your three tips work for anyone wanting to watch a rugby game here in the United States - 1) You have to work hard to find when a game is being aired. 2) You have to pay attention to detail to learn and appreciate the game. 3) You really, really have to have the drive to watch the game. Especially if you don't have cable television.

    :-)

    But with writing - Richie's tips are spot on. And this one is my favorite: "The first one that I really live by is that you can't go past hard work, if you think it's going to be easy, if you achieve it when it's easy you're probably not going to get the satisfaction of what it's all about."

    Nothing beats hard work.

    And what am I doing this week to move myself closer to my goals? I have a crazy-busy week coming up. We're putting our house on the market on Friday, and we still have tons of prep-work to do (painting, decluttering, etc.) But I'm making it my goal to write for an hour every morning, no matter what.

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    1. You are up to your eyeballs in hard work this week, Jan! Yay for making sure you still get your words in for the day. If you're like me, you get grumpy when you're not writing...and you feel guilty...for the grumpiness and the not writing.

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  4. Solid advice. Thank you for sharing. Athletes' drive and determination inspire me--even if I'm not much of a sport's fan.

    My goal this week is to keep on keeping on. Write. Send stuff out for feedback. And repeat.



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    1. Samantha, that's the procedure, isn't it? Write, send it out, repeat! And never give up!

      I am a huge sports fan...just not an athlete at all myself. :)

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  5. Interesting post, Erica. How did you become interested in rugby? I don't know much about it.

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    1. As an unrepentant sports junkie, I am interested in any new sport. I have a friend here in town who grew up as a missionary kid in Africa and played rugby. We were having dinner at their house (to watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament :) ) and he talked about playing rugby. Then we got into a discussion of the basic rules, watched a little bit of rugby on youtube, and BAM! I was hooked! :)

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    2. That's interesting, Erica. I'm sure it is an interesting sport.

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  6. Such great advice! I want to know how you got interested in rugby too! :)
    My goal is to dive into a rewrite. I've blocked out time every day for it and am going to just do it.

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    1. That's a great attitude! Just dive in and get to work! :) Richie McCaw would approve!

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  7. Erica, writing is definitely a humbling experience. I routinely have to humble myself before The One who called me to write and allow Him to tell a story through me.

    You've shared some excellent tips. Ones I will be revisiting very soon as I embark on a new series.

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    1. It is dead humbling, isn't it? But exciting, too, because we get to partner with and be used by The One. :)

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  8. Erica, I know nothing about rugby. But the tips are great and spot on when it comes to writing.

    Hard work and determination are needed, IMHO. Always! For that first sale and for growing a career.

    I teach a writing class at my church. Sharing what I know with others has helped me become a better writer...or, at least, to learn more about the craft. So to all those who have thought of starting a mentoring program or a writing class, I say, GO FOR IT! I thought I would be helping others. In reality, the class is helping me!

    Happy Easter Monday. He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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    1. Debby, I love that you have a writing group at your church. I love that writing is the gift that keeps on giving, both to the reader and the author, to the teacher and the student! Isn't it neat how God works that out?

      Happy Easter Monday to you, as well! We serve a RISEN SAVIOR!

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  9. I don't think I've ever seen a rugby match -- I'm more of a figure skating fan :-) But these tips are awesome whether you're an athlete or a writer!

    Love the cover for Mail-Order Mishaps -- clever title too! Sounds like a fun read and I love that your story features an Irish lass! Congrats on the soon-to-be-release!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kav. This story is dear to my heart because I set it in a little town about 20 miles from where I grew up.

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  10. I read this great post this morning and just realized I never commented! I loved the, Erica. My favorite quote:

    "Great writers aren't born, they're made. You can have raw talent, but perfecting and maturing that talent takes time and attention to detail. It takes learning from those who have gone before you and those who are on the journey with you. Nobody has all the answers, but everyone who has achieved what you want to achieve has experience and information."

    That's so true. And I'm so glad to have all of you along this journey with me!

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    1. LOL! Typo. Was supposed to say I loved THIS Erica. LOL But I do love THE Erica as well. Or I guess it could have been: I love THEE, Erica. Hahaha

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    2. :D

      I've been so blessed to know the Seekers for such a long time. I've learned so much from all of you! You've set such a great example of blessing others with your experience and wisdom.

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  11. Another wonderful post. Raw talent is a great blessing but hard work and a willingness to learn pays off. I don't know if I have raw talent, but I'm willing to put in the hard work.

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    1. That's such a great attitude, and it will take you FAR! There's no going past the hard work it takes to be great!

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  13. Great motivational tips - thanks for sharing! This week, I am praying about my next book - whether I'm to write a follow up to my nonfiction "Abandoned Into the Heart of God" or whether I'm to finish the two fiction books I've started. I need to decide soon - I want to pitch one of these at the upcoming Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Nothing like waiting until almost the last minute!

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  14. I really wasn't sure how you were going to tie rugby into writing, but you're right. His tips work perfectly. Thanks for sharing. I am so glad I found this community almost two years ago.

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