My beloved Kansas University Jayhawks have a way of giving me a heart attack every week. A team mostly comprised of Freshmen and Sophomores, they have a run-and-gun style that pays big dividends or crashes and burns.
The Jayhawks, the number three men's basketball team in the nation, battled the Texas Longhorns today, down by double digits at the half. They won by four points in the end, and captured the Big Twelve regular season title. They will have the number one seed in the Big Twelve tournament this coming week.
Then...The Big Dance.
I am totally addicted to the NCAA men's basketball tournament. MARCH MADNESS! I watch multiple games a day, multiple days a week. I print out my brackets, filling them in with each game completed.
The last two years, Kansas has had an early exit from the tournament, getting booted in the first round each year. Much sadness in the Jayhawk nation. But, with the hope that springs eternal...This year will be different!
It kind of reminds me of writing books. You put together your best work, you package it up, and you send it off with all the hope of a Jayhawk junkie. And it gets rejected right out of the box. Once the publishing houses say no, it's back to the drawing board.
But with each novel, your performance improves, you learn more about your craft and your abilities, you stretch and change and grow. And when you send out the newest ms, you think, "This is the one. This time it will be different."
This year's Jayhawk team is scrappy, deep in heart, and has a 'never-say-die' attitude that allows them to overcome obstacles like being down by a dozen a the half against a team that is a GIANT in their conference. They have their eyes on a prize, and no bump along the way will make them stop striving for it. They aren't staying home from this year's tournament just because they lost in the first round last year...or the year before that.
Writers too have their eyes on a prize. No rejection, no-thank-you, or 'not-ready-yet' should derail them from striving for that prize of publication. Keep working, keep writing, keep reading.
And root for those Jayhawks!