What if writing were a competitive sport?

What if…

Two teams dominate. A third threatens both with an upset.

All three are drafting players. Which would you join?

In this daydream, we get to tune into the latest broadcast coverage and analysis for guidance.

Looks like team Massive Action will have no problem winning this year’s Writing Games. They charged into an early lead with thousands of words penned before…

Wait.

This just in. Team Baby Steps is closing the word gap. Their endurance may be no match for Massive Action’s waining energy. They look…

Hold on. Look at the scoreboard.

Who’s that closing in on Baby Steps?

Looks like we have a true edge-of-the-seater on our hands, folks. This one may not be decided until the clock runs out.

Let’s hit the sidelines for a closer look at each team. Here’s Write 50 coach, Marianne Post, with the insider’s perspective.

Thanks, Scoop.

It’s no surprise that this competition is tight. Despite different approaches, each team brought their a-game to today’s match.

As a coach, I’ve had a chance to study each team’s strategies, injury report, and signature plays. Here’s a closer look.

Meet Team Massive Action

It’s no surprise this crew took an early lead.

These guys are fast. And agile. They sprint into action and lean into their go-for-it attitude.

They can knock out a thousand words or 10 pages before the barista in my head can grind and brew my morning joe.

Have you heard about the guy on their team who pulled an all-nighter to draft an entire screenplay?

Legendary.

I’m surprised no one’s slapped a swoosh or “just do it” on their jerseys.

And no one wants to go up against this team in January or November. Many writers eat Massive Action dust as they charge into a new year or NaNoWriMo.

Who wouldn’t want to join this team? I do. And I coach a different one!

But I get winded just looking over their playbook.

Write for 10 hours a day? Publish to a daily blog for three years straight? That’s a zone I’ve never reached…and may explain why journalism never suited me.

I’m not alone. A peak at their injury report or disabled list shows this prolific team isn’t for the faint of heart.

Injury Report:

Burnout by January 10.

Sprained psyche for taking on too much, too soon.

According to this, one writer benched himself indefinitely for missing a day in early November. Hasn’t been seen since.

Some players ride the bench all week hoping to go all in, all weekend.

Team Massive Action’s Signature Play: Pick a project or genre. Go for it with big meaningful action and a nothing’s-going-to-stop you attitude. Not fear. Not your past. Just write. Don’t look back. Then repeat with research, rewrites, and marketing.

Looks like team Baby Steps slowly closed the gap during each one of this team’s rest periods.

But, how?

Meet Team Baby Steps

Steady progression guides these writers.

Their endurance is unmatched.

This team trains every day – each player committing to one step they can finish. No. Matter. What.

A life coach’s dream team.

Makes sense. Look at their playbook…

Launch into a writing ritual by writing for 5 minutes a day.

Tackle self-doubt brought on by past criticism or rejection by penning judgement-free words.

One player told me she devotes fifteen minutes a day – every day – to a pet project. She’s determined to keep her fiction-writing dream alive despite her overtime-filled work life.

This team builds their writing stamina in one to ten percent increments – marching forward by putting one word after the other.

No wonder they closed the gap. Team Massive Action never looks back. Not even during a break.

Yet, Baby Steps hasn’t been spared from the disabled list.

Really? These guys have a D.L.?

Yes, Scoop. They do.

Injury Report:

Plateau-fasciitis: a boredom injury brought on by repeating the same play for long periods of time.

Hyper-extended progression caused by trading the Baby Steps playbook for Massive Action’s – not realizing many players on that team started on this team.

Twisted attitude from stopping short of the start-line. These bench riders don’t see small steps as worthwhile.

Team Baby Step’s Signature Play: Commit to one writing step, any step that you can do no matter what. Do that every day for seven days. Then up the ante by 1 to 10 percent each week. Drop back to your original baby step on tough days.

Seems like an easy team to take down, right? Just push past them with some go-big-or-go-home writing sessions.

Wrong. I know I don’t want to play against these guys after a 3-day bender of banging out words for my screenplay.

Nope. They’re not as exciting to watch as team Massive Action, but their long game may make them the new sexy.

Are they sexy enough to defeat the team on their tail?

Meet Team Dare Ya

These writers are rebels. And smart thieves. They steal plays and make them their own.

They’re switch-hitters. Each player takes massive action when they’re in the zone and lean on baby steps when they’re not.

No regrets. No guilt. They do their doable and own it.

They trust that they’ll find their authentic stride – never settling into a teammate’s routine out of laziness.

This team reverse engineers projects. They work out what they need to do…by when…to win the game.

Injury Report:

Brain freeze from analysis paralysis. In other words, benched for hoarding other team’s plays but never joining the game.

Fractured structure for rebelling too hard against story conventions or writing routines.

Dabble-tosis for playing with lots of genres, styles, and techniques but never aligning them with a goal.

The 3-Tier Team Dare Ya Signature Play: Pick a project or writing goal. I dare ya to commit to a no-fail baby step. I double dare ya to up the ante with an uncomfortable but doable step. I double-dog dare ya you to pick a feels-impossible step. Complete one of these steps each day.

Which team has the best shot at winning the Writing Games? More importantly, which will you join?

Pick your team

As a writer who’s played for all the teams, I don’t envy your decision. So…

I double-dog dare you to trust your gut and try out for one. Or put all three in a hat and join the team you draw.

Then run with the signature play highlighted in that team’s profile. You’ve got this, kid!

Back to you, Scoop.

Thanks, Marianne. This game’s still to close to call. So, we want to hear from you, dear reader.

Take a moment to share your thoughts with your fellow Write 50 crew members. Your comment enters you in a drawing. The prize? A free one-on-one coaching session.

With that, I‘m signing off with wise words from performance coach, Jensen Siaw.

“Don’t wait until you are ready to take action. Instead take action to be ready.”

Block-ditching Resources:

The playbook used by team Baby Steps

The FREE playbook team Dare Ya uses

Write 50’s Ditch The Block games and coaching

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