Wednesday, January 10

#WriteTip: Michael Jordan Wasn't Wrong ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

We're getting back into the swing of things here on the North Coast. After a 21 day Winter/Christmas Break (elongated because of sub-zero temps and then more snow), bebe is back in school. Which means I'm back at my keyboard with purpose, because when she's home - even though I make a point to hit my word goals - I'm never fully into my writing. There are more interruptions. There are more distractions. There are more...well, everything. More cookies to be baked, more movies to be watched, move video games to be played. More conflict over brushing teeth, making beds, not having our faces stuck in our tablets all day.

I love having her home over school breaks, but I also love it when she's back in school, and the regularly scheduled programming of our life syncs back up. Which brings me to the point of this post: Michael Jordan wasn't wrong.

Way back in the 80s, Nike started the 'Just Do It' campaign, most of which featured Michael Jordan...arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. As a kid, I loved those commercials. As an athlete, I loved those commercials. As a human who has a bit of a procrastination habit...I didn't love them. I didn't want to get up early to run on our little country road. I didn't want to be serious all through volleyball practices (and too often I wasn't serious enough). I didn't want to write that paper on Moby Dick and I didn't want to dissect that frog in biology.

Michael's (well, Nike's) message was that none of us really want to put in the extra time. But that putting in the extra time is what leads us to the rewards of a great game played, of an extra special vacation with the family, of knowing that we've done our best.

As an adult, there are still things I don't want to do. I still don't want to get up early to run (especially in the winter months) or dance. I don't want to not drink a Coke when I want. I don't want to do the laundry or make the beds or clean the bathroom. I don't always want to shut the world away and write my words for the day. But I like the feel of the house when the rooms are straightened and I like how I feel about myself when I hit that 2500 word daily goal by 11 am and I like that my jeans fit better when I haven't had an extra 1000 calories of soda in my diet. And so, I hear Michael Jordan's voice in my head when I don't want to do the things that I know I should do...and I just do them. I get up a little early to exercise, and I limit my soda intake, and I sit down to write my words...because those are things that I can control. Those are things that I can do to make myself the best Kristina that I can be.

Michael has a newer commercial, too, and I think I like the message of this one even more than the commercial from my childhood.

I like it because it's true. As writer, we don't have cheering stadiums filled with people cheering us on. We face the keyboard alone most days, and if we don't, no one is there to catch us. It can be easy to fall into the 'I'll write twice as much tomorrow' or 'I don't think this story is going anywhere, anyway' ruts. But what if, instead of letting those ruts take hold, we act a little bit more like Michael (or to use a star from the romance world, a little more like Nora) and just sit down and write? Sit down and edit? Sit down and do the things that we know have to be done for us to live the lives we want to live?

What is your 'what if'?                                                         ~Kristina


  1. What if I just trusted myself to write this book without any editing until it was completely written...without critique partners seeing it until it was done...

  2. What if I just concentrated on writing a good story instead of worrying about its audience?

  3. I’m horrible at goals, even when I am accountable to someone! I guess my “what if” could be “what if I’m a better writer than I give myself credit for?”

  4. Yeah, Ava. That is a good one. Okay, here's mine: What if I write something in a genre I've never written before?

  5. Great post, Kristina. I need that reminder! So, what if I believe in my abilities and finish the darned book?