Michael Phelps is inspiring. And not just for athletes. Here is my list of what writers can learn from the most decorated Olympian ever.
- Stay in the moment – To win at that level, you need to be in the moment, not worrying about your next race or fretting about your last one. Advice for writers: when you’re in the thick of writing, just write. Don’t worry about your marketing plan, your blog, or updating your Facebook status. All that can be done later.
- Practice, practice, practice – We all know this one. The more you write, the better you get, so try write every day
- Get focused – Phelps is known for his headphones as he walk onto the pool deck. Do what you need to do: listen to music, do yoga, or whatever it is you do to get that writer brain in gear and do it consistently.
- Make sure you can adapt – While you always have a game plan, you also need to adapt. What should writers take from this? You need to be organized but flexible. Remember, nothing is written in stone, that includes your marketing plan as well as your plot.
- Never give up – Phelps’ week didn’t start as anticipated. Instead of giving up, he kept going and it paid off — more gold medals. As a writer, you will get rejections, a lot of them, don’t give up. One day your resilience will pay off. And make sure you complete that novel – so many novels sit unfinished. Successful writers finish what they start.
- Have fun – In an interview I saw yesterday, Michael Phelps said when he first got to the olympics, he forgot to have fun. Once he started having fun, he started winning more medals again. The lesson here? If you’re not having fun writing, it wont be as good.