chip on your shoulder
This is an interesting article from Poynter’s Chip on Your Shoulder column that draws a parallel between athletes and writers. I found it helpful to think about how I approach my tendency to fall into a lack of focus and discipline as a freelance designer by looking at the way athletes physically and mentally prepare for their big games.
Performance Under Pressure
Sally Jenkins is an award-winning sports columnist for The Washington Post whose years of reporting and writing about athletic performance have led her to see a provocative connection between those of us who test our limits on a keyboard instead of a football field. In an e-mail interview, Jenkins describes what athletes can teach writers about improving performance. The author of five books, including “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life” with cyclist Lance Armstrong, Jenkins has also worked at Sports Illustrated.
Chip Scanlan: How and when did you make the connection between writing and performance issues?
Sally Jenkins: Well, I first thought about it with regard to deadlines. For some reason they decided to light stadiums, so now a lot of sports happen at night and writing game stories under crash deadlines can be rough, especially at an Olympics or a Super Bowl. Sometimes you have to write a thousand words in about 45 minutes — in a cold sweat after you’ve run the stadium stairs to the locker room. And you can’t hide; you know it’s going on the front of the section and about a million people are going to read your lousy first paragraph and quit on you the next day. So I used to try to get “up” for that kind of deadline, go in amped and ready to type faster than a semi-automatic weapon. more…