Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fly, Eddie, Fly!



And for whom? These are important questions. And have those reasons changed?


What makes me ask those questions of all of us is I saw a great writing movie over the weekend. Well, okay, it's not really a writing movie, but it applies to writing--Eddie the Eagle.


Now you're asking, "What does a movie about a goofy failure of an Olympian have to do with writing."


Nothing. Or everything.


Michael "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards came and went in the Olympics, but he was there. He did it. Here was this Coke-bottle-lensed, awkward, kid in a leg brace who wanted nothing more than to be in the Olympics. Not win. Just participate.


Well, he gets the leg brace off, and starts training, any way he can. Long story short, he becomes a team of one, the only athlete from England since 1929 to compete in ski jumping. He doesn't have a snowball's chance of winning, as the ski jumpers from other countries have had professional training and years of experience. And he knows that. But all he wants do is compete. That's it.


What Eddie has is guts. And enthusiasm. He manages to get a former ski jumping champion, Bronson Peary, to reluctantly coach him. At one point after Eddie has busted himself countless times, Bronson asks him, "You're not going to give up, are you?" And Eddie's response--"No."


What he also brought to the Olympics was excitement--the little kid kind of excitement that most people don't allow themselves to feel. He successfully lands in the 70 meter, finishing last place, but he lands. And he starts hopping and bouncing and carrying on in front of the crowd. Many of the other athletes were embarrassed by his antics. Not professional. But Eddie was excited, and the crowd loved him for it.


So, that's what we need to think about when we write. What do we want out of it? Do we want the Gold Medal? Or do we just want to compete?


Keep writing, friends.

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