My return from Dallas last month heralded in the start of another football season in our household. While the first games won't occur until after Labor Day, the kids begin practice in mid-July to condition their muscles for what's to come. After several months of other activities, the coaches are well aware that the boys have neglected the exercises necessary to get them ready for the gridiron. For six weeks prior to that opening game, they'll run laps around the football field and do multiple sets of push-ups and sit-ups. They'll perform tackling drills and agility tests. They'll practice kicking, throwing, and catching the football. The idea is that by the time they hit the field for their first game, those skills they may have neglected over the last nine months might have become re-honed. Not only does this conditioning give them an edge on the field, it also prevents needless injuries. So if they get knocked down, they'll get up, brush themselves off and strive harder to reach the end zone.
As writers, we sometimes forget that we're constantly honing our own skills. Each book, each chapter, each paragraph is another exercise to strengthen our writing muscles. And no one, no matter how multi-published is too seasoned to learn something new. So if you get knocked down, you too can get up again, brush yourself off and strive harder.
What have you learned lately?