Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What Dude Perfect Can Teach Writers

Have you ever heard of the Internet sensation, Dude Perfect? They're five dudes who perform crazy awesome trick shots. You can check out their YouTube channel here. With three teen dudes of my own, I've watched a heck of a lot of Dude Perfect stunts.

In this interview with ABC's Nightline, we get to know the guys behind Dude Perfect a little more. As I watched it, I realized they could teach writers a whole lot of good stuff:

Do not give up

For Dude Perfect, failure is not an option. Their shots seem impossible, and it's only through try after try after try that they finally make it happen.

For some writers, finishing a manuscript seems impossible. For others, signing with an agent or securing a publishing contract seems impossible. Mega sales seems impossible. Let's adopt Dude Perfect's work ethic of try, try, try, and try again.

Celebrate victory

One of my favorite things about Dude Perfect's videos is their victory celebrations. After several failed attempts at a trick, when they finally make the shot, their joy is contagious.

Writers should be careful not to be down on themselves if they aren't where they think they should be in their writing careers. Instead, writers should celebrate each victory, no matter how small.

Include others in the fun

Dude Perfect has a legion of famous fans, like mega sports stars, big-time coaches, and celebrities. They've included these famous people in their fun, having them perform their own trick shots.

We can also include others in the fun. For me, it's fun to include my family in the cover design process. Perhaps you could name a character after one of your kids. We can even seek plot ideas from the people in our lives. It's fun for others to be involved in the sometimes wacky world of a writer.

Stay true to who you are

Dude Perfect has said no to lucrative alcohol endorsements because of their deeply held Christian beliefs. I totally respect that. Their videos are good, clean fun that the whole family can enjoy together. They don't hide their faith, they want to share it with others (check out their "why" section of their web site). They don't follow the money, they follow their hearts.

I'll probably never write fantasy or sci fi, simply because that's not my area of interest (even thought here's plenty of money to be made in those genres). If we stay true to ourselves and write for the right reasons, we'll stay on the path that's intended for us.

Love what you're doing

The dudes of Dude Perfect love what they're doing. Their joy is infectious. They're like five Peter Pans who I hope will never grow up. Even with all their success, they've kept their sense of humor and don't take themselves too seriously.

We can learn a lot from these guys. If we don't love what we're doing, why do it? If you're down in the dumps about a rejection or low sales, remember this: you're a writer, you love writing, and you'll likely continue writing even if no one else reads your words. Love it anyway.

Dude Perfect has fun. They know their audience. They've found their niche. We could all learn a lot from these dudes who make awesome trick shots. What say you, writer friends? Have you ever heard of Dude Perfect? Do you love what you're doing? Ever make an awesome trick shot?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Use It or Lose It #IWSG

Welcome, Insecure Writers! If you aren't a member yet, please do yourself a favor and sign up here.

After a summer of not writing, I was so glad to get back in the saddle again. I've sent my revision off to my editor, and I await her final notes.

All summer I kept reminding myself of the "use it or lose it" principle--that writing is like a muscle that can atrophy if not used. And even though I feared jumping back in, I survived the leap. No injuries occurred. *checks mirror for bruises*

While life swirls around me at a dizzying, uncontrollable pace, I continue to put one word after the next, creating something only I can create.

I hope you're doing the same...