What Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan can teach you about writing.
You might say that sports and writing are like chalk and cheese — polar opposites — though today I bring you two quotes from two very different star athletes that I feel apply directly to writing.
The first, from Michael Jordan, the “greatest basketball player of all time.”
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
You don’t get to be a six-time NBA champion without a few mistakes, a few false starts, and a few failed attempts along the way. The same can be said for writing. Consider the posts that sit in your trash — those few “failed attempts” that started with a spark that went dark. Consider those “false starts” at writing, those unfinished drafts that sit quietly in your dashboard, awaiting your return.
Wayne Gretzky, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, offers this:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Taken together, these two quotes can be a writerly recipe for success: you might “fail” at times, though you will fail 100% of the time if you stop trying to achieve your authorial dreams.
Having trouble getting started? Andrea Badgley offers some ideas on starting a daily writing practice.