Faster. Higher. Stronger.

by Charlotte Bennardo

Picture Courtesy of: International Olympic Committee

Faster. Higher. Stronger. That's the Olympic motto. As we start a new year, and the Olympics are less than two weeks away, I'm adopting their motto, with a twist, as my own. No, I'm not an athlete (unless showing up for yoga and swimming twice a week count), but I identify with the words. Here's how it applies to my writing life and goals:

Faster: Writing faster is not the goal, since I can knock out a novel in 30 days, via NaNoWriMo or if I'm simply motivated by a new project. For me faster will be my reaction to jumping on opportunities for appearances, events, and writing projects. It also means this year I'll be faster to say NO to things that offer no benefit for me or which cost me in money or too much time. Traveling for events where I know I won't sell a book, or doing workshops and presentations where people expect me to guide them through the writing process yet they don't even ask me to sign a copy of my book as they stand there holding books from others. This is the year of learning and discerning faster.

Higher: Jumping up to cheer/volunteer is also getting cut. I've been the faithful team player but now it's time for higher aspirations than just being a good colleague, donating to the cause, or selling more books. I'm branching out into other areas professionally which I will reveal in time. Selling more books is not the be all, end all. There is something higher- something I want to wear my tiara for.

Stronger: I have to be stronger in my goals and my persistence in chasing new dreams. Some dreams I'm abandoning in favor of newer ones. That also means that I have to be stronger to face the new challenges, new skills, new people which will be presented to me in pursuit of these goals. I have to be strong when it comes to clearing out what isn't working anymore: a style, a manuscript, an event, an organization, even people. All these are like clothes: some are so basic, like a comfy pair of jeans that will never go out of style, will always serve you well. Others, well, no one wears gold lame MC Hammer pants anymore. Some things will be easy to let go of- others will be very hard, but I have to be strong to do what must be done.

As the Olympics approach, think of your own goals and dreams; like first time Olympian ice skater Adam Rippon or veteran gold medalist Shawn White, you have to get faster, higher, stronger in order to succeed.


  1. Thanks for this inspiration Char. I wonder why there is no Olympic Author Endurance competition...

  2. I agree and have given myself permission to put myself first more this year. To your Olympic Achievements. I've cut a few volunteer gigs. too.

  3. Charlotte, this is absolutely brilliant. Really! It's all about prioritizing and making those hard decisions. I have SO much trouble with all of it. I'm totally printing this out! :D oxox

  4. I'm definitely working on "stronger" myself.


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