Janet Sumner Johnson
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Top 5 Writing Things I learned from the Royals

Nov 02, 2015 Uncategorized 5 comments

I recently moved from Kansas City. If you’re not into baseball, you may not have heard, but this little thing called the World Series just took place, and GUESS WHO WON!!!

The Kansas City Royals!!!!

KC Union Station’s Celebratory Facebook Post: Link here

So I know, I know. Many of you writing types may not really care that the Royals won the World Series. And that’s okay. I still love you. In fact, I haven’t always been a baseball fan myself – but last year’s team converted me.

I have learned so many things from the Royals and everything that came from both last year’s World Series and this year’s. And the really great thing?  It ALL APPLIES TO WRITING (goodness, it applies to LIFE). So here is my top 5 list of things I learned from the Royals:

1. It’s not over till it’s over (aka NEVER GIVE UP).

I may be beating a dead horse here, because I feel like I talk about this All. The Time. But it’s true! The Royals set all kinds of records this postseason with this mentality. Take Game 5. Down by 2 going into the ninth. They come back to tie and send the game to extra innings (where they WIN)!

Or take Game 4. Down by 1 in the top of the 8th. They score 3 runs!

Or take this stat: In the post season alone, the Royals scored 51 runs in the 7th inning or later. 51!! The last time a team even came close to that was back in 2002 (the Anaheim Angels with 36).

DON’T GIVE UP, my friends! Just don’t.

2. You can lose and still win (I know! doesn’t sound possible, does it?).

This is circa last year’s World Series. It was so hard to make it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series and then come away with a loss. (So Mets fans, we feel your pain! We really do). But despite that loss, that team – just a bunch a young guys who no one expected to even get to the play-offs, let alone the World Series, whose game and efforts were all heart – that team brought a whole city together.

It’s really hard to describe if you aren’t there. But everyone was united in their love for the Royals. Everyone. People who had never watched baseball before, watched baseball. We were high-fiving strangers in the streets, chatting up the amazing plays, comparing notes and plans for where to watch the next one. And wait did I say “strangers”? It was like the word “strangers” didn’t even exist!) All extra-curricular activities that got in the way of a game was cancelled, which everyone was happy about. It. Was. Awesome.

We may have lost the World Series last year, but we gained so much more. And the same is true for writing. You may have gotten a rejection. But that rejection will push you to be better (if you let it). You are that much closer to a YES, and all the while, your writing is improving. You win, because you are still trying.

3. A series of small successes (plays) can lead to HUGE THINGS.

This Royals team is not about huge plays and homeruns and star players. Nope. It was about teamwork. About getting a guy on base and then getting another guy on base until someone made it home. It was about sacrificing yourself to get your teammate across the plate.

Of course, Perez (who is awesome!) got the MVP, because an MVP has to be given. But  that MVP could have gone to any of them. And did you know that every single player on the team contributed? They all played. Every last one player on that post-season roster. And that is not always the case.

The point is, you don’t need to be writing best-sellers or getting the million dollar advances to succeed. Every single little success along the way adds us. Sell an article to a magazine? Celebrate your success! Get a request from an agent? Celebrate your success! Slow and steady wins the race.

4. Sometimes, you have to take a risk.

Just one word. Hosmer. Holy cow, that baserunning!! What guts! And if you missed it. Ninth inning of Game 5. We are down by two. Hosmer gets a double RBI then gets to third on a groundout. Perez is up to bat and hits one straight to the Wright, the 3rd baseman, who stares down Hosmer before throwing an out to 1st.

But oh no. Hosmer was NOT stared down. As soon as Wright turns to throw, Hosmer is off! And the 1st baseman is caught off guard and guess who scores to tie the game??? Ninth inning, two outs. Hosmer takes the risk!

I have read plenty of critiques of that play: Hosmer’s lucky the throw was bad. He shouldn’t have done it, but I guess it worked out. Haha! Life is sometimes a risk. Let me tell you a quick story about the guy who didn’t take the risk in Game 7 of last year’s World Series. Ninth inning, down by one, two outs. SO. MANY. PARALLELS. The guy stayed on 3rd and guess what? We lost.

Writing is a risk. Putting yourself out there is a risk. But it is worth it. Be fearless, my friends!

5. Niceness is always a thing. Everyone roots for the nice guys.

One of the reasons I have loved watching the Royals so much is because the players, the team . . . they are straight up nice. Even people who weren’t Royal’s fans were rooting for them. And it was because they were nice. And because their fans were nice. (And yes, there are always exceptions, in case you know that one not nice fan. But you get my point.)

Be nice. Treat people nicely. Editors. Agents. Other Writers. Fans. Not fans. Everyone. You will always come out the better for it.

If you made it this far, thanks for letting me rave about my Royals! Do you watch baseball? Did I miss any lessons in there??


5 Responses to “Top 5 Writing Things I learned from the Royals”

  1. Those are some good lessons you have learned and shared, Janet. Thanks! I'm not a baseball fan, but have a husband, son and a grandson who are thrilled with the Royals winning.

  2. SA Larsenッ says:

    #2 is a great point. Sometimes we let the real 'victory' in a situation become clouded by what the world sees as a win.

  3. Dawn Simon says:

    Excellent list! I like all your points. #2 is so true. Something I didn't understand at first is there are good rejections. An agent may be telling you no, but it's a big deal if he or she takes the time to give you feedback or asks for a future ms.

    Keep having fun! 🙂

  4. Hi Janet – great post .. we can learn from all things in life. Failing is allowed, accepting a different approach and learning from others is essential too. Standing back and working out how to help ourselves is essential also .. cheers Hilary

  5. Saumya says:

    Okay, I love this list for SO many reasons. I took my husband, who grew up in Kansas City, to the game on Sunday as his birthday gift. It was such a moving experience and this post made me relive that!

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