Posted in Personal, Writing

Do you have Grit?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an exciting week of work and the wedding of my nephew. It was a beautiful wedding, and it was so good to see members of my family that I haven’t seen in a while. My boys were able to hang out with their cousins which is important for that family connection, and I got some awesome pictures of all the cousins together.

But enough about that. Today I want to talk about Grit. That’s right. That little extra something that everyone needs in life to succeed.

Definition via Google:

Grit: Courage and Resolve. Strength of Character.

To be great at anything you need grit. To be a professional basketball player you need it. To be a CEO you need it, and to be a great writer you need grit. If you have that strength of character, you will be able to keep going when the going gets tough. Grit means you go for the gold even though there’s no guarantee.

That’s the hardest part. To keep going when there’s no guarantee that your dreams will come true. But that’s the only way to get there isn’t it? So, like the professional basketball player you practice, and practice, and practice some more.

It’s the same with writing. You keep writing even though your story may never see the light of day. You keep writing because the story and the characters have become a part of you just like the basketball player plays because he doesn’t know anything else.

That’s where we have to be as a writer. We need to take risks and write stories that make people take notice. Maybe even write stories that make them uncomfortable. That’s where your gold is. That’s why you write. So, keep writing and build that grit muscle. You have that story in you and the only way to get it out is by putting pen to paper or fingers to your keyboard.

There are ways to develop grit. One way that I strongly recommend is to work with a mentor or writing group. People who are invested in your success.  These people will help you hone your skills.

Another way to develop grit is to take classes, go to writer’s conferences, and read books. Read craft books, like Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Or “Story Engineering,” by Larry Brooks.  All of these things will help you hone your craft and develop grit.

How about you?

Do you have that strength of character? The resolve to get it done at all costs? How do you develop your grit muscle? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Parenting

Do you have Grit?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with work and kid events. I love my kid events. I love seeing how my kids have grown and changed from one year to the next. Sigh. They’re growing up so fast. I’m hoping I’m instilling in them resilience so they can navigate this tough, uncompromising world.

 

Photo on Visual hunt

I’ve been hearing rumblings that one of the factors needed for kids to be successful in life is grit.

 

What is Grit?

Photo on Visual hunt

To some it’s a small loose particle of stone or sand and that is one of its definitions, but it’s not the one I’m talking about. The grit I’m talking about is:

 

A distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus that allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere in their goals even in the face of discomfort, rejection, and a lack of visible progress for years, or even decades.

 

Photo on Visualhunt.com

How do we develop grit in our children? That’s a good question and in my opinion, grit is like a muscle. It needs exercise to become stronger.

We develop grit in our kids by supporting what they’re passionate about and encouraging them through the learning process. I remember when my youngest was three and he was working with Transformers. It was difficult for him to change the transformer from a robot to a car and then back to a robot. I remember how upset he’d get when he was struggling to learn the process and I’d tell him to take a break. He refused. Even though he was crying, he wouldn’t stop until he mastered that Transformer. That’s grit.

Photo credit: Mafue on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

  He found something he wanted to achieve and he worked at it until he accomplished his goal, overcoming failure time and again. The next thing he wanted to do was learn how to read and he was reading before he started kindergarten. I had to read stories with him over and over again, until he felt he had accomplished his goal. That’s important, too. The fact that he chose when he felt he was successful.

 I believe part of developing grit is finding a passion. Something to strive for that gives us purpose. For me, it’s writing. I strive to constantly improve and make my stories better. I love writing, bringing characters to life and creating a story. Part of that process is weeding out what isn’t working. Sometimes we have to fail to be better.

Photo on VisualHunt

Having grit means that you’re aware failure is part of the process. This is important because if we don’t accept this concept then when we fail we may just give up.

It’s important for my kids to see me fail and struggle with my writing. Why? So they understand that failing is not something to be feared. It’s important to success because we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.  

If we develop the attitude we’re always learning then failure isn’t so scary. If parents hide their failures from their children, which many do, they’ll never learn that it’s okay to fail.

When you have grit, your will to succeed is stronger than your fear of failure. So lets encourage our kids to keep pursuing their dreams. They’ll get there when they’re supposed to and not one moment before. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What do you think our kids will need to be successful? What’s your definition of grit? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!