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Lessons learned from KC winning the Super Bowl

This is it, my first blog for Book View Café. I’m excited to be here. I live in St. Louis, and sadly none our teams did that great last year. The Cardinals are my favorite baseball team and I’m hoping they can turn it around. St. Louis feels like a shadow of its former self, and once the Rams left (Stan the Man will never mean Kroenke), most of us turned our attention to the west and the Kansas City Chiefs.

When the Chiefs won back to back, I was at my friends’ annual Super Bowl party. Often it was hard to watch this game, especially in the final seconds of the 4th Quarter. In fact, that’s actually when I took my first sip of wine to calm my nerves. The next morning I thought of a few things related to my writing and thought I share them with you.

It’s Not Over ‘til It’s Over

Let’s face it. There’s no one quite like quarterback Patrick Mahomes when it comes to the final seconds of a tough game. In what looked like a 19-16 win for the 49ers, Mahomes brought the ball into range, and with three seconds left on the clock, and Harrison Butker’s 29-yard field goal sent the game into overtime. For those of us watching who were KC, our relief was palatable. We’d been in this spot before, at a previous Super Bowl. The team could do this. They would win. (Sorry to my friends who were crushed by this.)

For me, writing is often like this. In traditional publishing, you’ll hear writers who get dropped from their lines, or lines and publishing houses close. In indie, algorithms change. Some may say that the golden age of self-publishing is over, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s career is. It’s sometimes hard to focus on the positives when the situation is so fraught, but as long as you’re moving forward, there’s always a chance to score and reach the end zone.

That’s one reason I’m excited to be here with BVC and join such an excellent author cooperative.

You’re Gonna Get Frustrated

Unless you weren’t watching the game, everyone saw Travis Kelce “bump” into Coach Andy Reid during the second quarter. Kelce was frustrated when he hadn’t received the ball when he was wide open. At this point, Kansas City was struggling; San Francisco was up 10-3 when Usher came onto the field at the half. But Kelce put the situation behind him, making a critical catch in the final seconds that set up that tying field goal.

Being an author can be a bit like this. Kelce calls Coach Reid a mentor, and by the start of the third quarter, Kelce had his emotions under control. So much with writing and publishing is outside of your control. You write the best book and fans can’t find it, so they don’t buy it. Or maybe they don’t love it. Or your cover isn’t exactly what you’d pictured. Or your career isn’t progressing the way you want.

The key to those frustrations is how you deal with them. You might have a dustup when things go poorly. But it’s how you handle that dustup, and how you come back and make things right that are the mark of success. As a former principal used to always say, “You are the variable.”

In the end, the Chiefs proved all the naysayers wrong. They rose to the occasion and never stopped fighting. If you’re counting, on the Chief’s final six drives, Kelce was involved in each, including the final 16 seconds where he almost scored until he was driven out of bounds at the 11-yard line with 10 seconds left.

I’ve discovered I can’t control anyone else, but you can control how you react to the situation, including any needed adjustments to your attitude, your playing, your social media presence, and your career. Try not to get tackled so hard by a setback that you don’t bounce back up. Now I just need a pop star to figure out I’m his dream woman.

There’s No I in Team

One of the things about Kansas City is the “brotherhood.” They were in this together.

As writers, we also need our team, which is why I’m here. BVC is a team and everyone helps. Your team will be have your back through good and bad, thick and thin, even if they’re not as famous as Taylor Swift. I’ve discovered I’m not alone in this journey. Writing is a solitary job—just me and my computer. But that doesn’t mean that I am alone.

It’s About the End Result

The pundits wrote off Kansas City Chiefs multiple times this season. They wouldn’t win a playoff game as a visiting team. They couldn’t play in the cold. They were too distracted by their personal lives—aka Taylor. They had too many injuries. Others said the 49ers would walk over the Chiefs. At Christmas no one thought this team had a chance.

The end result is that they’re back-to-back Super Bowl champs, the first team to do it since the New England Patriots.

Writing is the same. Writers get into the middle of the book and often think “this sucks.” It feels like we’re facing setback after setback. I know I’m that way. Then, once I finish the book, revise, edit, and read it again, I find myself often saying “Who wrote this? It’s really good. Wow! It’s me.” That’s the moment I live for. Then once that book gets out into the world, it’s real. It’s good. I’ve done it.

About 7 percent of high school athletes play football in college. The number of high school athletes playing professional football is 0.023 percent. Here at BVC, the authors are multi-published. We’re winning the game. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what stage of my writing I’m in. I don’t quit, I keep going, and I keep writing. Which is why I’m here and so excited to get to know all you.

Mr. September by Michele Dunaway

PS–Check it out, Mr. September, the Book View Cafe edition, is now available! It’s my first BVC release.

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