#Writing: Girl Power and Being the Best

Pink Meet 5

Being the Best

I mentioned awhile back that my family drove up to Philadelphia recently for the Pink Invitational. My younger daughter is a USAG gymnast and spends A LOT of time at the gym. This means I spend A LOT of time in the car, driving her back and forth to practice. I don’t mind doing it though because she is truly dedicated and passionate about her sport. In fact, her entire team, and all of the young girls I regularly see at these events, are an inspiration. They spend a minimum of fifteen hours a week at the gym – the equivalent of a part-time job – training, conditioning, practicing their skills, and learning new ones. It’s a sport that takes both courage and commitment.

Pink Meet 1

Every now and then I’ll hear my daughter or another gymnast worry that their scores aren’t high enough or they didn’t win as many awards as they were hoping to at an event. And every time I remind them how amazing it is that they are simply ON THE TEAM. They probably don’t realize it, since they get so caught up in the competitive season, the rigorous practice schedule, and the intensity of the meets, but the fact that they’ve worked hard enough to become a member of a USAG team at all is a feat to be celebrated.

Pink Meet 3

Writers, take note. Because all of us probably experience the same feelings that I see in these young gymnasts at some point during our writing careers. At times, we’ve probably all felt that our sales (or contest scores) weren’t high enough or we didn’t win as many (or any) awards as we were hoping to. But I’m writing this post to remind us how amazing it is to simply be ON THE TEAM. We may not realize it, since we get so caught up in the frenzy of social media, whatever rigorous deadline or word count schedule we’ve set ourselves upon, and the intensity of pursuing the path to publication (or continued publication), but the fact that we all work so hard practicing our skills and learning new ones is a fact to be celebrated.

Embrace your dedication to craft, your passion for creativity, your courage to take a chance on yourself and your work, and your commitment to whatever goals you’ve set for yourself. Take a moment now to smile and say, I’m glad I’m a WRITER. Smile and say, “I’m glad I’m ON THE TEAM.” :-D

The Power of Pink

One of the coolest things about gymnastics is that it’s such an empowering sport for girls. Because of their training, these girls are STRONG even though they are little. Outside of the gym, they are often underestimated because of their size. But their strength to weight ratio is incredible. The sport also teaches FEMALE SOLIDARITY, a message I stand behind wholeheartedly. The meet was a great example of how girls and women can support one another regardless of whether they are big or little, strong or vulnerable.

Pink Meet

And the meet reminded us that PINK is a color for everyone, not just girls. All the dads and male coaches were embracing the “awesomeness of pink” too!

The Pink Invitational is the largest fundraising event for Unite for HER, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls by supporting and providing breast cancer and wellness programs that educate, empower and restore.” The group focuses on wellness initiatives for all women and girls. To learn more about the group or to donate, click here.

Pink Meet 4

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So, writers, how about you? Do you ever struggle with insecurity? (Come on, don’t we all? Admit it! Embrace it! And then get rid of it!!)

Readers, do you practice a sport? Have a favorite one to watch? What are some of the things you’ve learned from participating in sports or watching your kids participate? What’s your favorite color? Do you love PINK???

Tomorrow, I’ll post some White Heart of Justice news, and then Monday, I’ll post a book recommendation. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend, everyone!

About Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. View all posts by Jill Archer

4 responses to “#Writing: Girl Power and Being the Best

  • Debra Elise

    Great post Jill. I used to run then developed back problems & now I do yoga. It has taught me to slow down and really focus on the movements vs. being in a hurry all the time. A great metaphor for my life – both in writing & family time.
    I’m such a procrastinator as well, that if I don’t step out of my comfort zone, I’m not going to accomplish ANY goal I set for myself.

    Oh and I love pink and red!

    Hugs, Deb

    • Jill Archer

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Deb! Yoga is terrific. I swore I’d try to work it into my 2014 schedule and… um… well, I haven’t yet. Still, I think the lessons you’ve learned from it are great ones!

  • Shamus

    Hi Jill! The only insecurity I’ve struggled with is being so butt-ugly. Of course, after I finally realized it’s not something I can change, I just accepted it. Does that make it still a struggle? The jury is still out on that.

    As for a sport, I’m a CrossFitter. And you know the first rule of CrossFit is that you have to talk about it all the time. For anyone who does not know what CrossFit is, here’s a link:

    And no, it is not for elite athletes only. It’s for everyone. This is what I do, this is what I watch. Through CrossFit I learned that I wasn’t in nearly as good shape as I had thought. I learned (and was reminded repeatedly) that ego has no place in exercise. I learned that the one you need to compete with most is yourself. I learned that people aren’t watching how much weight you lift but they are watching how much effort you give. I learned that you’re never too experienced to review the basics. I learned that there is just as much joy in helping someone else do something they never thought they could do as there is in doing such a thing yourself. I learned that consistency will beat talent. I learned that I learned more about myself when I wanted to quit than at any other time. I certainly learned more than I can relate in a few short words here, but perhaps this will give you an idea.

    My favorite color? Green? Black? I don’t know, I don’t have a strong stance on colors. However, pink is not my color (sorry). I’d wear it to support breast cancer research of course, but I am certain I own not one single article of clothing that is pink. Don’t buy me any, either.

    • Jill Archer

      Hi Shamus! Thanks for posting the YouTube clip. Talk about strong people!

      I loved hearing all of the lessons you’ve learned from CrossFit (although if you weren’t in as good a shape as you thought when you started, what hope is there for us mere mortals?!) But seriously, what a great list! Almost every lesson could equally apply to writing.

      You don’t have a strong stance on colors? Ah, I am such a color person! Although I love the color black too.

      Appreciate the well thought out, inspirational comment.

      Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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