At a recent Martial Arts competition I attended to watch my daughter compete had many parallels to the writing life. My daughter attends a school that specialty is Tang Soo Do but there were participants from schools that taught karate and other forms of Martial Arts. The competitors ranged in age from 4 years old to over 60. The students had the opportunity to show their skills in three categories: form, weapons and fighting. The categories were broken down into age and experience divisions
The parallel became very obvious to me when the organizer of the event insisted that everyone watch the black belt fight competition. As all the other competitors found a place to sir he said. “Watch and see if you can decide who gets the points.” He wanted the students to learn from the best. Observe how the things they were learning come together. What are judges looking for that earns them points?
Martial Arts take many forms in the same way writing does. You can pursue journalism, non-fiction, fiction. True students of MA will reach the top of their class i.e. Tong So Doo and then pursue Karate or another form to learn more. Writers work in many areas. I love writing fiction but I write articles, skits, programs, Bible studies, copy content and this blog because it’s all part of getting better at the craft
Never too old
My daughter is 27 and has only been doing this for two years. She is unique because most women do not take up Tang Soo Do as an adult because it is so physical. She dabbled in another form of MA when she was 9 but the lessons didn’t fit our budget at the time. Nicole has become an inspiration for other women who had an interest because their kids were doing it. Now they compete as well. Her passion increases with each contest and new skill learned. And she has won trophies at every meet she has attended. Grant it in her age category and skill level there are few competitors but the trophy still means a lot.
Age is not relevant when it comes to starting your writing journey. If the desire is there just begin. Become a student of the craft by learning techniques for the writing from the teachers that God brings into your life. Practice your form (grammar, syntax and tight writing), take up your weapons (computer, pen, paper, craft books, tape recorder) and learn how to weld them. Fight the good fight with words that capture your audience. Battle rejection by competing with more submissions to many publications and not letting it discourage you.
Learn from those with more experience
Learn from the black belt authors what it takes to earn points with agents, publishers and your readers. They can teach you how to self-edit and where to revise. Hanging with them will encourage you on your journey.
Lots of hard work involved
Invest time, money; sweat and tears to become the best writer you can. The trophies for you will be by lines and royalty checks. Whether you appear in a national magazine or the local paper the kudos are just as sweet.
What disciplines are you working on to reach the next level in your writing journey?