September 7, 2013

Three Messages

After four attempts, Diana Nyad swam the treacherous Florida Straits and completed a 53-hour, 100-mile swim from Cuba to Key West.  Nyad, a 64-year old endurance swimmer, is the only person to have succeeded in swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or a wet suit.  Her 35-member support team kept a close watch as she swam the ocean brimming with jellyfish and sharks. 

After two nights and two days of the torturous swim, Nyad greeted onlookers and her support team.  “I have three messages,” she said.  “One is we should never, ever give up.  Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams.  Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”

When I read her messages, I immediately thought about writers who were pursuing the path to publication.  Her messages certainly apply. 

1.  We should never give up—no matter the rejections, the writer’s block, or the lack of confidence.  

2.  We should never dismiss our dreams, regardless of our age.  Laura Ingalls Wilder, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Joseph Conrad, and Henry Miller and more were published late in life.

3.  We should never believe that writing is a solitary sport.  It takes the team of critique partners and editors to reach the goal of publication.

Nyad said that with each attempt to swim the ocean, she vowed it would be her last; yet, the quest nagged at her.  She tried again.  On the fifth time, she succeeded in reaching her most difficult goal.  What an amazing woman!  Though her quest is over, her words of wisdom remain.  I urge you to think of those three messages often.  Use them for inspiration.  Allow those three messages to encourage you, to spur you on as you journey the road to publication.  

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