Writers, Losing Just Means You Have Another Chance to Win

Last week, I wrote a post about what lessons Super Bowl LI can teach writers. I wrote it from the perspective of a comeback, which was the most noticeable take-away for me. I’ve quit this field before, for personal reasons, not the least of which was severe, debilitating self-doubt. But I had a comeback and have moved forward ever since.

Sure, I’m still striving to achieve my big goals, but my new outlook on my process and my writer self afforded me the opportunity to achieve other goals that I hadn’t even anticipated, thereby enriching and uplifting my experience.

All this said, the Falcons’ efforts weren’t lost on me—probably because I have been in their cleats. Many a time. Pummeled by a tough foe. Made to think hard about my shortcomings, the spaces I need to fill more efficiently. The Falcons played a helluva game and even though they left the field losing the Super Bowl, they did not leave the field as losers.

Writers, maybe struggling to achieve your big dream

is a blessing in disguise. 


I don’t define “underdog” as someone or something of a lesser skill or ability. To me, the underdog is the one who is still undertaking a journey. Being the underdog means you have a forward vision and space and time to explore. There is so much more flexibility and creativity available to those of us who are still journeying. Once you reach your big goal, there aren’t many choices left other than to dig in and hold your ground, lest you be knocked down. So enjoy the journey while you can.


You can’t ask for a better slogan, not for an underdog football team, and not for a writer. No one has gotten anywhere by not trying, or by staying defeated. Even when you know you have no chance at success, even when you know that you’re facing something bigger and better than you, be brave. I’m sure the Falcons had to engage in some form of meditation when they realized they would be up against Tom Brady & Co.

Facing a tyrant along your journey can be intimidating enough to make you retreat. But too many repeat performances like that will only prove your inner critic right. It’s better to have played and lost than never to have played at all. As with writing, it’s better to have written and been rejected than never to have written at all. You simply have to rise up, give yourself a chance.


The Falcons dominated the first three quarters. They executed play after play with precision and confidence. They had Patriots’ fans worried to the point many gave up. This is no small feat—to unravel a Patriots fan, let me tell you. We’re kind of known for our fanaticism, antagonism, and well, um, cockiness. We all thought we had this in the bag—and the Falcons played with such heart, that they showed us we are vulnerable, we aren’t that much of a superpower, and left us a little shaken. The Falcons’ fight stirred something in me that evoked a sense of familiarity.

I know what it feels like to work so hard at something, to be up at the butt-crack of dawn to stay true to my big dream, only to have that dream snuffed out again and again. Those losses, though, can never outshine my efforts, my hard work, and my determination. The Falcons will come back, dare I say, and rock the joint next season, as long as they play with the same intensity, the same heart as they did all this past season.


There is a little bit of magic all around us. Some people refer to it as luck. Others might call it positive thinking. Skeptics will refer to it as coincidence. Whatever your favorite term is, know that it is out there, accessible to you—you just have to have the courage to see it.

I see magic as a natural force in this world, but it can’t help us on its own. I think it can only function on our behalf when hard work and focus are in play. The more often magic is appreciated and used, the more present it will be in your life.


The magic was there during that Super Bowl, for both teams, seen through amazing plays, heard through the raucous crowd. Magic is there for writers, too. It shows up through inspiration, ideas, and the simple joy of the act. The more you honor that magic, the more it will rouse you on your journey.


14 thoughts on “Writers, Losing Just Means You Have Another Chance to Win”

  1. thank you for this Kate.. many times I thought about giving up writing since I’ve been up to this for 3 years and I made just but a few (albeit awesome!) connections. I wish I can reach a larger audience..

    I think I can still go for an extra mile 🙂 thanks again!

    • Audience reach is probably one of the hardest goals to attain these days. There are so many writers, of all genres and levels of experiences, so it’s difficult to be seen and heard. Starting small is a really safe place to be, especially if you’re still learning your craft! And those few connections can only multiply as you continue working! Good luck!

    • Absolutely! There are days I don’t have the energy or the will power to rise up. Those are the days I take off, hunker down, watch a great movie, and chill. Tomorrow is a new day, and I usually can rise up then. Thanks for swinging by!

  2. Magic! Now you’re speaking my language. That certainly was quite a game. I found myself rooting for neither team in particular, and being able to appreciate good plays simply because they were good plays. And appreciating the athleticism of the players when they made incredible catches or interceptions. Defeat, to me, is merely an invitation to deal with the imaginary wall in front of me in a different way. Maybe I need to go over it, or try faking left and then running around it to the right. Maybe this time I need to dig a tunnel and go under it, or call on a pterodactyl to pick me up and carry me over it. Maybe what I thought was ready to put out to the world wasn’t ready, so more time or more experience is really an opportunity to add to, change up, or hone my creation a bit. Maybe give it more focus, or trim out the excess fat. Or dump it entirely for a new idea (writing project, or whatever) that’s screaming to be put forth first. Who knows? It’s all good. It’s all right and it’s alright.

    • Yes indeed–we have to be creative in our approaches when dealing with obstacles, setbacks, walls, or defensive linemen. 😉 I think it’s also true that what works for one issue, won’t always work for other issues, but if we keep reverting back to our old methods and we get stuck, we start thinking we’re failures. No! We just need to think of other options, problem solve, think out of the box.

  3. New Englandah,

    Sho enough, I’m always amazed at your skillful ability to transpose a Super Bowl result into a writers workshop lesson. The Falcons were throwing some magic at us for the better part of two and a half quarters, and they still had every chance in the world to close things out with a few minutes left. Such is the precipice every writer stands on- between the promised land and the rejection letter.

    You’re so good at these, I wish there were more games left.


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