Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recipe of a Champion

I really enjoyed watching the Summer Olympics this year and one thing kept occurring to me: there is definitely a recipe for champions - and the ingredients that make up that recipe can be applied to anything we set our minds to, whether that be parenting, marriage, writing, or other pursuits.

Passion - every champion starts with passion. For me, one of my passions is writing. I love the written word. I love to read it and I love to write it. It's so much more than entertainment for me; it's a way to communicate the essence of who I am. I love expressing who God created me to be with the words he places on my heart and my greatest prayer is that He uses those words for His Kingdom and His glory.

Support - every champion has people who believe in her. For most, it starts with our parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts, uncles - anyone who influences us as children. As we grow, it becomes spouses, best friends and other. For me, other writers and readers have become part of my support system. People who cheer you on when you've reached a milestone and those who help you back up when you've stumbled. Support keeps us going.

Good Coaching - every champion has a dynamic coach, or coaches, who show them how to succeed. For me, it's been my online writing friends, books I've read on the craft of writing, reading other books by authors I admire, and my husband. My coaches show me where I need to improve and they challenge me to do better each time I try.

Commitment - every champion is committed to their pursuit. Just as an athlete must commit to training, day in and day out, no matter how they feel, I've had to commit to learning my craft, keeping my blogging schedule, finishing my weekly word quota and not giving up, even when I don't "feel" like continuing. I once heard that a writer's greatest enemy is their desk chair. So many times we feel like doing something else, but when we commit to getting published, we must plunk our bottoms in the chair and keep pressing forward.

Determination - if I could designate one of these ingredients, above the others, as the most important, I would say determination would be it. Every champion is determined to be the best. Determination keeps us going. It is the fuel we need to chase after our dreams. When rejection comes, when we don't win, when we stumble along the way, determination kicks in and we get back in the game to try again. Without determination, there is no chance at becoming a champion.

What about you? What ingredients do you think make up the recipe for a champion? Are these ingredients part of your plan?


  1. Great list!!! I think determination is one that I am lacking in. I have such an easy going nature, it is easy to just find some other project I like doing when the going gets tough. Sigh...maybe someday I will buckle down and get determined.

  2. Yep, all those are definitely part of my list! In the past few years, good coaching has been more awesome than ever in my life--My Book Therapy all the way! And determination. Sometimes I think we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to scrounge up enough determination to keep moving forward, but a little goes a long way!

  3. Oh wow, yes! And what a phenomenal list! Perspective tends to be one I tuck in my pocket and take on the road with me too.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Sherrinda - determination is one of those fickle things, isn't it? I just became determined to follow this dream to publication in February (even though I've dreamed of doing it most of my life) and I truly believe it's a gift from God, because sometimes I surprise myself with it. In God's timing, it'll come!

    Melissa - yes, you've had amazing coaching! I can't wait to meet the MBT staff in three weeks and then go to the retreat in October! I think good coaching leads us to committment and determination. And you're right - a little does go a long way!

    Wendy - ohh, perspective is definitely a key ingredient. I think that's part of the change in my own mind and heart these past seven months. My persepctive on the writing life has changed and I see that with committment and detmination, it is attainable!

  5. Lovin' this post, Gabrielle! Yes, every one of these ingredients make up a champion. Well said. Hmmm...maybe I'd add, self-discipline, which I'm sorely lacking!

  6. What a great list of ingredients for a champion! Passion is vital, because if we're striving for a goal set by someone else instead of a driving passion in us, failure is imminent. For me, I would add focus to my list. Every successful champion I know (regardless of their field) had a single-minded focus. They lived and breathed that one focus and shepherded everything toward it. Some days my focus wanders down dusty paths or past failures - and I can tell a difference!

  7. Love this list! All of these have been necessary in my writing journey so far. I couldn't do it without the help and support of others, and without the passion that's God-given.

    I think trust is another element. We need to trust that the Lord has a plan, just the right place and time for us in our writing journeys.

  8. Gwendolyn - yes, self discipline is huge! I think that goes back to plunking your bottom in the chair and just writing, writing, writing! It's so easy to get lost in social media and other distractions and then I realize my little chunk of writing time is gone. Being self disciplined is hard, but vital - in all areas of my life.

    Donna - focus is another great one. Sometimes I feel like I'm so focused, though, I miss things going on around me. I think with all these things listed, balance is so important, but if we're balanced and our focus is set, we can achieve great things!

    Lindsay - I couldn't agree more, Lindsay. I was just chatting with Laura Frantz about how she broke into publication and trusting God and His timing was key for her. She's going to be a guest on my blog on Monday (eek!!) and it was so fun asking her about it. Trust, trust, trust - it shows God that we truly believe He's in control and His plan is the best for our lives.

  9. I love this post! It's so true to our dreams and life, Gabrielle!

    I believe passion, commitment and determination are the biggest factors of pursuing your dreams. If you don't have these, you'll get nowhere and not be at the finish line.

    I love and enjoy writing. I'm also passionate about film. Film is more than entertainment for me. I look at it in a different perspective -- the critical perspective. I find the merits and faults in films and write film reviews. I love what I set my mind to and pursuing that dream to my best of my ability.

  10. These ingredients are part of the plan. Passion really moves me. Outstanding list, Gabrielle!

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  12. Friends who understand what I'm going through. Friendship is vital, not that family isn't, because how many families are packed full of writers? Like minded peeps who can join in the journey make everything so much easier!


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