When I read Jennifer Hudson’s response to the recent culmination of American Idol, I was surprised to learn that the obviously talented, now accomplished singer, finished seventh in her competition year. What was more important, though, was her reaction to not getting the prize.
“I still have my gift” she told herself. “…I’ll just have to sing my way out of it”. This philosophy resonates so deeply with my own at present. The title Writeathlon, of course mirrors the concept of the triathlon of sports, in which the competitor has to endure three different gruelling races to get to the finish line. It is a test of stamina and endurance rather than of speed. It’s a race in which after giving all you’ve got in one leg, you have to give it all again for a second and a third time; a race in which one finish line is just another starting point and one win counts for nothing until the end.
Thus, in my journey as a writer, I concentrate not simply on getting to my goal as quickly as possible. But, on staying for the long run, putting on new gears when needed and seeing every challenge as just a fragment of the whole. Counting each completed task as a victory and realising that one success opens up the way for a new and different one is quite appealing.
The truth is, everybody aims to win the race. But, in a long distance one like a marathon- and indeed, triathlon- there are many winners. Not all may get the same prize but the very completion of the race is, in itself, a victory. The same is true for me. What I value more than stardom or quick success, is the commitment to the task, development of the discipline and the sustained progress to my ultimate end.