Song of the Day: Undaunted by Adrenaline Mob
Little know fact: I am an assistant director of a league drill team with girls ranging from 3 to 13 years old. Yes…I’m insane.
This past weekend we had our drill team competition. It was an emotional day for all filled with anxiety, stress, excitement, drama, and many, many tears. For anyone who has done dance/drill competition, you know there are many opportunities for something to go wrong. After all, you are only as good as your weakest link. For my team, the unthinkable happened.
About halfway into the senior team’s pom routine, the music shut off. Fortunately, the girls didn’t miss a beat and kept going—something they had been taught to do—and danced as if the music never stopped. But things went from bad to worse. The music restarted from the beginning. Again, the girls continued on as if the catastrophe never happened. Not one of them stopped. The music and the beat were completely at odds with their dance and should have been confusing and throwing them into a hot mess. Yet the smiling girls danced on, finishing with few mistakes to a standing ovation. It was remarkable. My heart shattered and swelled simultaneously. Now, as soon as they exited the gym, as you can imagine, the tears flowed. A full gamut of emotions was felt by all dancers, coaches, directors, and spectators, alike.
We were asked if we wanted a redo. After consideration, the head director and myself decided to let the judging scores stand. They are strong. They will pull through no matter what happens or what the scores were and be better dancers for it. We didn’t tell the girls of our decision, not until right before they were allowed to take the floor for the pom routine at the end of the competition. They had worked hard all season and they deserved to let everyone see them shine.
What does this have to do with writing? Just as the gremlins tried to derail our girls from success by stopping the music, so, too, could a completely unexpected incident happen to authors. A computer crash, death, birth, illness, starting (ahem) a new job, or a one-star review from someone who didn’t read your book, or a yahoo who thought they were reading a thriller instead of a romance even when the title indicated it was a romance, or some troll who compared your literary talent to cheese whiz. Anything that disrupts or impacts your writing in a big way can be detrimental if we let it.
The point is, and you’ve heard it before, you must practice perseverance. You must not let events that are beyond your control rule you. You must be strong and stay on course. Adjust. Recalibrate. It can be hard. As Dory from Finding Nemo said ‘just keep swimming’, even if it’s against the current. You can and will pull through, prevail, even.
By the way, despite the set-back, the girls triumphed, taking first place by a large margin. And THAT brought on a whole new set of tears.