Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘sticktuitiveness

Why Writing a Book Is Like Preparing for a Marathon

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Why is writing a book so much like preparing for a marathon?

Writing a book takes time. Effort. Forethought, planning, a certain drive and sticktuitiveness…it’s a test that will push you to your limit. It shows you, as a writer, what you are made of — because you have to believe that your persistence, your effort, and your skill will pay off.

Runners do this, too, when they prepare to run marathons. They must get into condition, learn to eat efficiently, and prepare their bodies for a maximum effort. And they must believe that all of the training, all of their skill, will pay dividends when they finally run their races.

Runners are strong. They have to be. And they must believe in themselves, even if no one else does, or they can’t run their best races.

You have to be strong to be a writer, too. And you have to have faith in yourself that what you’re doing is the right thing, all because you have a creative vision that will not be denied.

Perhaps thinking about writing in the terms of preparing for a marathon will help you, especially if you are stalled or frustrated with your work-in-progress. While a completed book is not like running an actual marathon, writing that book is very much like preparing to run a marathon.

I know the metaphor only goes so far. But it’s still an interesting way to think about writing — as a marathon, not a sprint.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 15, 2015 at 8:17 am

More Thoughts Re: Craig Wayne Boyd on “The Voice”

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Folks, I am glad Craig Wayne Boyd has lasted another week on NBC’s “The Voice.” I’d told myself if he made it through, I’d write about him again…but this time, try to explain just what I see in Mr. Boyd, and why I think him continuing on is a positive example for everyone — not just other singers or musicians, but everyone.

First, I believe someone who has talent should be encouraged. Mr. Boyd has talent — loads of it. He has a huge, yet smooth baritone voice, and he only rarely goes off-pitch (and then, seemingly, only for a microsecond; just long enough to let us all know he’s human, then he’s back on again). He is a consummate musician who does everything right.

Second, Mr. Boyd’s success to date on “The Voice” shows that sometimes, you just need the right opportunity.

Third, and by far the most important, is that Mr. Boyd is persistent. He refuses to give up on himself and his talent. And because of that, he’s finally getting his time to shine.

You see, persistence matters. Without it, Mr. Boyd wouldn’t finally have been able to grasp this opportunity — the right opportunity for him — and he wouldn’t be on the cusp of major stardom.

I think we all could learn a lot from Mr. Boyd’s career to date. He’s had ups and downs. He’s been an opening act, he’s toured the country (see this article for more details), he’s been little-known, and he probably wondered what he had to do to get a break.

Now, he finally has one.

As Blake Shelton, his coach, said last night during “The Voice” results (my best paraphrase, as I don’t have a transcript in front of me), “I don’t know how Craig isn’t already a star, how he was overlooked.”

I don’t, either. But I’m glad he hung in there and seized his opportunity when it finally arrived.

Because he deserves it.

Let that be a lesson to everyone in the value of persistence, along with the stalwart refusal to give up on yourself. (As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Boyd is right up there with Vinny Rottino in that regard…fortunately, music is unlike baseball, and Mr. Boyd should be able to have a long career.)

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Edited to add:

I’m not the only one who feels Mr. Boyd should never have had to go on “The Voice” and should already be a major star (as I said in my prior blog on this subject).

Take a gander at Lyndsey Parker’s column over at Yahoo Music:

Craig is untouchable in this competition. He’s a pro. He’s a golden god. He should have landed a record deal years ago, and it’s almost downright embarrassing that he had to go on The Voice in the first place.

Amen, sister!

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 26, 2014 at 8:15 am