I seem to be in a habit of quoting coaches lately. Perhaps it is the correlation between the perseverance and dedication required to be both an athlete and writer that speaks to me. I'm not sure but wanted to share another email I received (actually my kids who will be attending his tennis camp this summer received). The following was stated by Steve Wilkinson, co-founder of Tennis & Life Camps at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, when asked about the most important thing he had learned in his tennis career as coach, teacher and player. His response...
"The Serenity Prayer offers a blueprint for living life fully. 'God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference.'"
He goes on to say..."It is easy to focus on the things outside our control, which we cannot change, instead of things within our control, which we can change. If we worry about disrespectful people (outside our control), we may lose motivation to show respect to others (within our control). If we worry about winning or playing well (outside our control), we may stop giving full effort with a positive attitude (within our control). Finally, if we worry about death (outside our control), we may not live our days to the fullest (within our control).
The wisdom to know what we can change and what we cannot is critical. Frustration and stress beset those who do not possess this wisdom. Serenity and courage mark the lives of those who do."
I found Steve's words very profound and telling. I believe they can be applied to any aspect of life which one is pursuing and living; however, as it relates specifically to writing, it is certainly true that we may not write to our fullest potential or give full effort if burdened by worry about not writing well. To me, it goes back to the old adage to just write, write what comes to mind without worrying about how good it is. Forego the frustration and stress and find the serenity and courage that comes to those who know what can and cannot be changed and make it work for you in your writing life.