Picture this: a competitor in fierce pursuit of a goal, pulling off incredible physical and mental feats, and letting out a huge roar after a win.
Can you guess who this is?
If you answered, “An athlete,” you’re absolutely correct.
If, for some reason, you said, “A writer”… you are right as well!
Let’s face it: when we visualize writers, we don’t exactly think of impressive physical specimens like Dwayne Johnson or Serena Williams. Though some of us (especially me) could probably use a protein shake or two, we have every right to feel like a Grand Slam Champion.
Why? Because writers, in essence, are athletes.
I have been a sports fan since childhood, with basketball holding a special place in my heart. (I’m from the Philippines, you see.) After devouring so much sports content over the years, I can confidently say that the winning qualities of athletes are the same ones that drive writers to success.
In this article, I’ll assemble my own starting five by discussing the top qualities that writers can pick up from the world of sports. By adopting all these characteristics that define the mindset of an athlete, writers can get past every obstacle, beat the clock, and score a slam dunk. Or a home run. Or a touchdown.
Do we have to do the Griddy every time our work is published? Up to you. While celebratory dance rituals are short-lived, these five qualities will help you last long in the writing industry.Continue reading
Admit it: you’ve got a cup of coffee in front of you right now.
As you sip that steaming foam of goodness, close your eyes and ask yourself the following questions.
Why am I drinking this?
Seriously, why am I drinking this?
A precious few writers might be able to give answers with substance. But the rest of us will probably just shrug and say, “It tastes good” before taking another blissful swig.
For sure, a nice beverage brings comfort to a writer facing a deadline. However, beyond the pleasure of our taste buds, we need to find more compelling reasons for the drinks that we choose. Different drinks have distinct effects, both good and bad. If we don’t watch what we sip—or, indeed, how often we sip it—the effects on our health and our writing will be undeniable. Now that would be tough to swallow, wouldn’t it?
In this article, it’s mugs and glasses galore as I take the drinks out of the fridge and into your consciousness. Having done my homework on the nutrition side of things, I present to you the physiological effects of beverages we tend to sip while working. I’ll tell you which drinks keep you sharp, which drinks stimulate your ideas, and which ones are, well, just plain trouble.
Thirsty for the facts? Let’s dive right in!Continue reading
Many of us tune into a specific playlist when we write. This soundtrack helps the mind weave words into meaningful clusters of thought. For some writers, it’s a classical selection of Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach. Others lean into soothing lo-fi and jazz.
Me? I blasted J. Cole on my headphones as I wrote my master’s thesis.
Hip-hop has been in my ear since the sixth grade, back when Nelly was topping the charts and Baby Keem was a toddler. I blame Eminem for starting it all: “Lose Yourself” was a morning routine along with breakfast and academic lethargy. When I got to college, I had T.I. telling me to live my life and Drake hooking me on “Forever.” (My high school hip hop presence was John Cena. Don’t ask.)
Now, I’m a grizzled professional still listening to rhymes and beats. After all these years as an ardent rap fan, I realize that this genre is not just background music to me. Far from being banal Spotify stimuli, the art of rap directly influences another one of my passions: writing.
So now, I’m putting together a mixtape of advice for my fellow writers. In this piece, I’ll be breaking down how rap music can revitalize your writing. Whether your affinity for rap is limited to Ludacris’ verse on “Baby,” or you’re a true aficionado waiting for Dr. Dre to drop “Detox,” you can find rhyme and reason in these writing tips. At their core, rappers are writers themselves, so we can learn a thing or two about what they do, ya dig?
So now … like the late, great Big L, let me put it on.Continue reading
Ah, high school. Long may the memories of our idyllic youth reign. Care to ride a bus down memory lane?
Right now, you’re back in that big cafeteria, with its unmistakable aroma and stratified seating arrangement (including the categories “Talk of the town,” “Varsity athletes,” and “Stephen King die-hards”).
Or, you’re ecstatically celebrating your sports team’s victory, which validated your school community’s decision to tell the rival campus to, in essence, stick it.
Cool memories. So how come you didn’t go with “My English teacher rocks?”
Maybe it’s because you made your English teacher cringe. Like, a bunch of times.
How so? It was probably the bad writing habits that tend to pop up at that stage in our lives. Like acne and mood swings, such habits are inevitable. Perhaps your memories of your English teacher aren’t so rosy because they took pains to nip these habits in the bud.
The question is: are these habits a thing of the past? High school is so yesteryear, but can we say the same about our bad writing tendencies?Continue reading