Posts Tagged Women’s Fiction Writers Association

How Becky Hammon, Ground-breaking NBA basketball Assistant Coach, Can Inspire Writers, too!

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I started attending women’s basketball games at Colorado State University more than two decades ago. Early on in the 95-96 season,  I remember saying, “Where’s that little girl? We need her on the court.” That little girl was 5’6″ Becky Hammon, who was recently named the first full-time female assistant coach for an NBA team.

Today is the first day of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Women’s Fiction Week 2014 workshop. It features presentations from many  names in women’s fiction. While reading through the introductory messages from other participants, I found myself getting depressed. They were almost all published or had novels circulating with requests to read. While at the opening luncheon for the 2014-15 season of CSU Ram’s basketball yesterday, another fan alerted me to a recent video with Robin Roberts interviewing Becky. It was just what I needed.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11582796

Some of her encouraging words: Keep perspective, have an unwavering belief. She mentions figuring out how she can make herself better (workshops/conferences), as well as how can she make those next to her better. (critiquing/writing group)

Advice to young girls: bring passion to everything you do. Have an excitement and enthusiasm to your work and work as hard as you can.

The take away? Becky is on the short side, from South Dakota. She was under recruited to college, which is why Colorado State was able to snag her. She did have a great teammate in Katie Cronin. Probably both of them helped and encouraged each other to be better. I suspect Katie, along with Becky’s family, was a big supporter of her progress when she–again–wasn’t recruited out of college into the fledgling WNBA.

I was at another pre-season basketball picnic before Becky’s junior year. She was walking around and introducing herself to the fans, saying, “Hi, I’m Becky Hammon.” It was funny because, of course, we all knew who she was. To the list of qualities she listed for young girls to strive for, I would add humility. Also obvious in the video, but not something she mentions directly, is the support and belief from others who are important to you. In this case, her family always showed support. Her parents made the drive from Rapid City to Fort Collins for all her games, and although I’m no longer in touch with either Becky or her family, I’m sure they continue to show her support. Actually, I did talk to another one of her former teammates at that luncheon yesterday and she mentioned that Katie and another teammate where making a video to send to Becky. She also said all the teammates sent words of congratulations and support as well.

Now after watching her inspiring video, I need to tackle that workshop again and look at it as an opportunity to get better so that I, too, can be one of those published writers one day.

Is there a sports figure or someone from another field of endeavor who has words to inspire you?

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50th Published Post: So Now What do I Do?

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Sock animal and a C2 doll on my bookshelf.

This is going to be my 50th  published post. Even though this is close to  a post a week for a full year, it appears my first effort launched in September. I received notice of an automatic payment for my URL due in July, so I must have had the blog in mind for awhile before I actually wrote anything.

One of the reasons I started the blog was that I attended the Writing and Yoga Retreat and Linda Epstein, the agent who was one of the two people running the retreat mentioned she checks online presence while she waits for requested material. This made me think, “Oh, maybe I really do need some sort of web page.”  So I bought a URL and then set about learning a bit about setting up a blog site.

Because the manuscript I was hoping to sell at the time  had at least a secondary theme of friendship, and because friendship theory  has always been of great interest to me, I wanted to concentrate on writing about that. In college I did numerous papers on the subject, including my own theory, which I explicated briefly in my novel. I liked the idea of writing about something other than writing,because it seemed presumptuous to think I had something more to say about writing than one of the other 678,9452* other blogs out there addressing writing.

Besides, I’ve always been a bit contrary and wanted to write about something else. Something the rest of the world wasn’t addressing. I googled friendship and found a few websites but nothing that appeared active or addressed the aspects I was interest,ed in.  So I thought I’d be okay.

But like most of my other blog ideas, this one was harder to write about than I thought. I have things to say; the question is, do I want to say them in a potentially public forum where I might be talking about someone who might read the post? It’s in the (remote) realm of possibility.

For awhile, it seemed that everything was saying, “If you write, you need a blog to attract readers.” I took a social media course through the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and it stressed  you needed a place for your fans to find out about you. My thought was, “But I want readers, not fans.” I wasn’t looking for (unlikely) adoration, nor was I looking to become friends via my blog. I mean, I wouldn’t mind meeting  people or even becoming friends, but that wasn’t the main purpose of the blog.

Now I’m seeing more and more articles/blog posts saying that you don’t really need to have a blog, or maybe you don’t need to spend that much time on one. (Here is one about blogging.)  I enjoy coming up with topics, especially linking activities and objects that seem to have little to do with writing to writing. I find blog posting satisfying, if time consuming, and the time it consumes is that in which I should be working on my latest manuscript.

That last is a reason I should stop, but last week I finally had cards made up to hand out to people I meet at conferences and I put this web address on them.

I did manage to write enough columns to have bypassed my previous “record” of four posts, and I do have a second blog which I plan to keep going. The second is a quick weekly challenge that involves eating pancakes, so it has its own reward.

Maybe what I’ll change is the title of this blog. Probably what I should adjust is the focus. Since I am time-limited due to my work schedule, I will have to post this as it is right now and worry about those other changes later–or leave it for Post 51!

Why do you keep blogging? What keeps you from giving up?

*for my very literal readers, this is a made up number and, I hope, an obvious exaggeration.

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