When we strive for excellence, what are we striving for? But most importantly who are we striving for? What drives our motives, and how do we know when we have reached that pinnacle?
Starting out as a writer, I thought all I had to do was just sit down, prick my soul and the words would just flow onto the paper -The first time I tried my hand at writing, was in the early 90’s, yes there were computers, but they were not as prevalent as they are today. My handwriting was atrocious, so was my spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, progression of thought and the list goes on.
Writing takes practice, over the years, my penmanship has not gotten better, unless I am focusing on my handwriting - I use a computer, so my handwriting is lazy. My spelling is getting better and I am relying less on spell check and getting the words correct (Mrs. Clark, my English teacher would be proud). I have studied sentence structure and punctuation, so my sentences and progression of thought are clear.
I was a writer, but I needed to have the skills to be a good writer. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but to strive for excellence never stops.
In 2003 Vijay Singh was beating Tiger Woods in the golf scene; he beat Tiger Woods by over $900,000. Even though all golfers practice, after winning one of the tournaments, the next day Singh was seen out practicing. He was striving for excellence, even though he won. You may call it drive, work ethic what have you. Just because he was at the top, he did not just sit back and relax, he kept trying to improve.
We should always try to improve, but how? Well there are many ways. Reading is the best instructor for a writer; read what you write – what I mean is, if you write blogs, read blogs. If you write fiction, read fiction and so on. If you are a blogger and when you read a post, you will see how they format, you see what works, how it looks, how easy it is to read and how they use punctuation.
Who are you striving for? This might sound like a basic question - In other words what motivates you.
When I was a child, there was this hill near where we lived. The hill had caves at the top, so on one spring day: my father, two brothers and I went hiking up “Cave Hill” (don’t blame me, I didn't name it).
The bottom of the hill was a gradual incline, which turned into a steeper climb the further you went to the top. Getting close to the top of the hill the climb was very steep, and I can remember; my legs burned, I was tired, hungry and thirsty. Making it to the top became less important to me: I wanted the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my knapsack and a drink from my canteen. My dad said I could eat and drink when we reached the top. I reached the top and had my lunch - that was the best tasting PB&J I ever ate.
That PB&J was my motivation. So what motivates you?
What would your pinnacle moment look like?
So you are striving, working, reading and above all you are writing, but how do you know when you are at your pinnacle?
I really hope I never make my pinnacle: Why? I remember that hill, once I made it to the top, I had to go home. I could not go any further than the top of the hill.
Some people are at the very top, some have plateaued and some have started coming down. Of those whom have come close to the top, glean what you can from them, and most of them are willing to show the ropes.
You can ask for people to give you suggestions. It was suggested to me, to change my blog’s background, and so I did, and there were many positive reactions to the change.
Keep a look out how to excel at your passion. Once you start getting accolades, don’t just sit back, keep striving: Have Singh’s work ethic. Keep pushing yourself, and the rewards will start coming in to you.