Yesterday, I watched the televised running of the Belmont Stakes, where an 11-1 colt who'd run a disappointing sixth in the Derby and hadn't even raced as a two-year-old slipped in to steal the lead. And I got to thinking how similar horse racing must be to writing, where we continually pin our hopes on the next shot instead of looking back on past defeats.
If you're by nature negative, both racing and writing are endeavors that will eat you alive. They're rife with rejection, disappointment, and unfair breaks, and criticism is often both unkind and public. Both career paths are riddled with the bodies of the talented and deserving.
And yet, for many of us, our chosen calling is a glittering path of hope. A pattern of belief that the nextrun will be special, the next
venue the lens that focuses our talent to a beam so pure and perfect, the effort will be distilled into pure light. Victory will surely follow, or at least a showing that proves us as a contender.
Some might call this cock-eyed optimism, others lunacy, but when one stops believing in the dream, one loses her ability to transmit it to others. And loses the possibility of triumph, too.
So for today, like Summer Bird's owner, trainer, and jockey on the eve of the Belmont, I'm making the choice to stick with the belief that my best races are ahead of me. I'm betting it all on resilience, adaptability, persistence and talent.
And then I'm going to do the work to make it happen.
Come along for the ride, why don't you? And see how far your faith can take you, too.