The Olympic Games have me thinking about athletes and all the hard work that happens in the months and years leading up to the events. When I started working at Lerner Publishing Group, one of my first big projects was the Sports Heroes and Legends series. The series covers a range of former and current athletes.
The common thread in every single book was not talent. It was hard work. I was amazed as I read over and over again just how much effort the athletes put into their chosen sport from the time they were young.
I don’t have a ton of personal experience with sports (other than being part of a great softball team in elementary school!), but the books often reminded me of a ballet teacher I studied with. She would tell the dancers again and again that success came not from talent or natural ability but from hard work. You want to be able to hold your leg up by your ear? Then practice! Do it so much that your parents ask you why you always have your leg in the air. That’s how it will happen.
At this point, you’re probably thinking this blog post doesn’t have very much to do with books or editing. Don't worry, I'm getting there! The thing about reading manuscript after manuscript emphasizing the importance of hard work is that I couldn't help but be influenced. I was inspired to work just as hard (or nearly as hard) as an editor! And I hope that when a youngster reads one of these books, he or she will be inspired to work hard at something as well.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled Olympic Games watching . . .