Today’s video is of three professionals against 100 school children. Someone said, “This shows some sort of publishing metaphor just waiting to get out!” (The first two minutes are enough to get the idea.)
What do you think this is showing as it relates to the pursuit of publishing?
HT: Dan Balow
How fun it is to play the writing game, but scoring usually requires much more finesse than any beginner has mastered.
Gentle persistence and unerring competence separated the professionals from the horde. The horde never truly controlled the ball or got close to their goal. The professionals, despite the “odds,” did not force their way to their goal, they worked astutely around the obstacles. They showed good humor and confidence.
Nah, no publishing metaphors there, Steve, sorry.
It also suggests a scary/daunting comparison between an author/agent/publisher’s success on the field against many, many, many independently striving uncoorindating entities. Yikes . . . .
That’s funny. I saw the professionals as the publishers of the world. The children were new writers trying to get their work published. I say this as someone who is on the edge of starting to pitch my work. So, no personal experience, only what I perceive from watching a listening to others. Seems daunting.
I also saw it as hundreds of new writers “competing” against the few “big boys” in their genre. The pros already knew what they were doing, knew what they needed to do to make the goal, and worked together until they saw their opportunity. They also had the advantages of height–fame–and talent. Those advantages outweighed the sheer numbers of the “competitors,” because the kids didn’t have a cohesive strategy or plan to overcome their disadvantages.
There is a goal, there are a few professionals and a lot of amateurs. But this applies to a lot of things. I give up. I’m going to wait to see what Andrew posts.
Mike Henry Sr.
Three who understand their roles and work together can accomplish anything. One hundred without a clear understanding of the roles and the keys to success will find themselves at a disadvantage every time.
Be smart. Be confident. Be bold. Don’t listen to the people who tell you that you can’t do it. Just keep your eye on the ball and victory will eventually be yours.
Funny, I was going to say, “Don’t follow the ball.” Assign yourself to a niche, corral a specific audience and guard it like there’s no tomorrow.
Mary Jane Mason
It only takes a few professionals to intimidate the whole herd of amateurs! Even when the ball was seemingly free they stayed within the safety of the pack. They seemed eager but yet they doubted their ability to win. They were individuals of a group not a team.
Damon J. Gray
Nicola’s comment is very close to what I was thinking.
As one who used to coach young children in futbol (soccer), it is very difficult to persuade them to not play “swarm ball” The kids looked like a flock of birds, all flying in formation, each of them with the same goal – “I’m gonna get that ball.” The professionals were spread across almost the full width of the pitch, each playing their position, their role.
In publishing, we have to know what our role is, and we have to trust others to play their role and to fulfill their responsibilities.
I agree with Sy; I’m going to wait and see what Andrew says.
Skill (craft building), teamwork (with agents/editors/publishers), and stop the chaos (in plot and in keeping an eye on the goal). Those three are pitted against 100 kids who are still untrained and follow the crowd. The pros make the difference but they’ve worked hard to get there.
At the 1:48 mark, when the three professionals all laugh and come together, high-fiving, could be an example of the author’s, agent’s, editor’s joy when the author’s book actually “makes it” with a publisher and goes out into the world and readers love it!
This shows that even when competing against the odds; with experience, persistence, and teamwork, the author, literary agent, and publisher can get the job done.
The 100 eager random things you do while trying to break into a successful author career aren’t as effective as buckling down, learning your trade, and then winning against the odds.
Gee, I like that at least a couple of the students got to kick the ball. But then I have a David vs Goliath complex. Eternal optimists will always overlook the odds! Can anyone spell Lilliputians?
Mary L. Johnson
Nice visual of the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to be a master of something. The kids might have youth and enthusiasm, but they need to polish their skills. As do we authors.