Jeff Francoeur, former right fielder for the Atlanta Braves and outspoken born-again Christian, addressed the attendees of Buford High School’s annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet last week. I was lucky to be in the room.
Jeff is not afraid to let folks know that he has Joshua 1:9 written on the strap of his batting glove. He advised the young athletes to develop a close relationship with God and to follow five simple rules to achieve happiness in life.
While he meant for the students to apply these rules to sports, I believe they can be used as general life lessons. I’ve listed them below and paralleled them to writing.
- Move on. If someone criticizes your work, shake it off. Keep plugging.
- Embrace change. I learned a new writing software program, Scrivener, a couple years ago after a fellow writer encouraged me to try it. I loved Microsoft Word and couldn’t imagine anything better. I was wrong.
- Celebrate others’ achievements. It’s hard to hear fellow writers rave about their recent publishing contracts. But God wants us to be happy when others are successful. And, you never know, that published writer may one day introduce you to a person who will launch your writing career.
- Be willing to fail. Only Jesus was perfect. We’re all going to fail at one time or another. It may be an embarrassing misspelled word in a blog header or a disappointing rejection notice from an agent. However epic, we must continue to risk failing. Those who never try will never succeed.
- Enjoy your success. One day, you will achieve your goals. Be happy and celebrate with friends and family. They know how hard you’ve worked.
In his closing remarks, Jeff reminded the students that “it doesn’t take much to be a good person, a good teammate and a good friend. We need to strive to do that every day.”
Do you have any advice for new writers?