Did you ever notice how closely movies and popular books mirror life? Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is not only one of the most popular recent sensations, both in print and on the screen, it also serves as a wonderful model for professional writers. More specifically, did you ever feel that working as a professional writer sometimes feels a lot like you’re taking part in your own Hunger Games? If you want to win those professional challenges, you can do no worse than to look to Katniss Everdeen on how to come out a Victor.
- Whether you win or lose, luck plays a part.
From the day of the Reaping, when Katniss Everdeen realizes the least likely person in the entire District has been chosen as tribute—her 12-year-old sister—Katniss recognizes that sometimes sheer bad luck can bring disaster. Writers have to remember the same thing. You may have the most brilliant story idea out there, but if the editor just bought a similar article—you lose. Don’t let simple bad luck get you down.
- The only way to win is to be prepared.
Katniss made an astute observation about the other Districts. They put their children to work earlier than her coal mining District 12. Many of the tasks the children from other Districts learned while helping with the harvest or spearing fish with a trident or heaving axes in a forest provided practice in skills that directly contributed to their chances for surviving the Hunger Games. Writers have the same issue: It’s essential to prepare yourself for success by practicing the skills of good writing and good research. The more you practice, the better you are—and the more likely you are to survive.
- Having allies helps—but choose them wisely.
In the Arena, Katniss discovered that the best way to improve her odds of survival was by the careful choice of who she allied herself with. She chose her allies with care, not based solely on their external skills, but rather based more on their similarity of approaches and goals. Writers have to do the same thing. If you’re writing with editors or publications on a different path than you, both you and they are likely to be unhappy. Don’t go there. Work for people and publications you respect.
- Persist. Even when things get tough.
The first rule of survival in the Hunger Games is simple: Stay alive. Do what it takes to keep going and keep moving forward. Writers need to do the same. Even when you’re in a writing slump and nothing is selling, you have to keep going. Keep writing, keep submitting, and things will get better.
- Make the odds be ever in your favor.
The motto of the Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor,” could just as easily be the motto of the professional writer, with one slight change: “Make the odds be ever in your favor.” Research your markets. Meet editorial requirements. Do quality work. Be professional. Submit promptly. None of those, by themselves, can guarantee an acceptance, but not doing them will certainly tip the odds against you. Don’t make your odds worse than they are.
Maureen is a skilled freelance writer working for a professional business writing company. When she’s not busy helping people edit and revise their writing pieces, she enjoys publishing book of her own as well as enrolling in guest blogging opportunities with www.BestEssayHelp.com.
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