Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Are the Odds of Winning at the Olympics?

Let's just be brutally honest here. I'm so uncoordinated that I've fallen down cross-country skiing. I've been known to trip over myself just walking down the street. So I never thought I'd be able to say I can relate to an athlete, let alone an olympic athlete. But for the first time in my life, I see that I'm not much different than they are (I'm talking philosophically here).

Athletics aside (obvious?) I'm totally on the same path. As I listen to the athletes' stories of training, sacrifice, failures and successes, I see myself - my life - as parallel to theirs. I've been training for years. I've written a novel, but not before having written thousands of pages, that now sit on my computer's hard drive, only after throwing the "hard copies" (pounds and pounds, reams upon reams of paper) into the recycling bin with a few choice words attached (sometimes louder and more...ahem...profound than at other times).

So I thought to myself, hmmm....what are the odds of getting published? Are they less than winning a medal? Or are my chances greater than the athletes competing in the Olympics?

You can probably guess what I did next. Right. Of course, I turned to everybody's BFF these days: Google.

What I found out was yes. My chances of getting published are greater than winning an Olympic medal. How much you ask? Well, I must be honest. I didn't go hog-wild and research this to the nth degree. I've got another novel to keep plugging away at and letters to keep writing and Target "fire-drill" runs to make get my drift.

So here's what I found out: The odds of winning the olympics are 662,000 to 1. The odds of getting published are 3 out of approximately 10,000.

No problem. (I'm in confidence-booster mode now)

After thinking about that statistic, I realized the 662,000 athletes are the ones that have actually made it to the Olympics. What about all the other athletes that started out with their sights set on the Olympics that aren't even in that 662,000? In actuality, the number is even greater. Talk about passion, drive, and determination...I have a newfound respect for all the athletes out there...

All I have to do is beat out 9,997 other writers...Piece of cake, huh?


Allan Woodrow said...

Well, you can't win the game unless you enter it right? The odds go up when you realize 97% of the stuff sent out is poorly written, poorly researched, etc. If your writing is good, it'll sell. Eventually. Probably? Maybe?

2KoP said...

This post actually made me feel better about writing. I know I'll never win the Olympics, by I'll take those 10,000 to 3 odds in publishing. Am Tweeting and Facebooking this post.

prerna said...

I agree with Allan when he says that you can't win if you don't enter.. I agree with you about pblishing being an Olympics feat but someone's gotta give it a shot! So go and just do it:-)