With this in mind and watching the Rio Olympics, I got to thinking about the qualities that make a great athlete, asking the question 'What makes these men and women the best in the world?'
The first answer is 'Well, they practice a lot. Every day they get up at four in the morning and run or swim or jump.' But the real answer, the one that matters, is that they love what they do. You just can't be great and hate your job. The best swimmers love the feel of the water. The best runners love the way their legs carry them faster and faster. The best jumpers love the feeling of travelling higher and higher, skimming over the bar. All these athletes have found their passions.
A few weeks ago I watched Ray Bradbury's presentation at The Sixth Annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea. The first thing he said was "The best 'hygiene' for writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week, then it doesn't matter what the quality is to start, but at least you are practising. At the end of the year, you have fifty-two short stories, and I defy you to write fifty-two bad ones. It can't be done."
I have been thinking about this. In fact, you could say that I have been ruminating on this idea for three weeks. What a challenge! One short story a week for a year. This idea intrigued me. So much so that this week I decided to take up the challenge.
Over the next year, I will be writing one short story a week. I will start on a Monday and finish on a Sunday. I will not look back at what I have written. I will move forward relentlessly - a short story beaver. And I will post about this challenge here on The Writing Habit.