Monday, July 5, 2010

Wimbledon – A Writer’s Perspective by Minx Maya

This was supposed to be a post to introduce myself *properly*as a Minx. But frankly, I didn’t think the blog world would find me that interesting. I mean, you don’t want to hear me prattle on about my, er, chest-to-chest meeting with Vernon Kay when I literally bumped into him (we were rounding the same corner) three years ago, do you? If the answer is yes, then let me add quickly that his eyes are that sexy and yes, his chest was all manly and hard – my chest felt it!

If the answer’s no, then let’s move on.

As an armchair sports enthusiast, of course I’d secured my place for the Wimbledon Final this year (I needed something to focus on after England’s triumph at the World Cup). Even before the tennis match started, I knew I’d be supporting the underdog, Tomas Berdych. This previously little known player who seems to have come out of nowhere and *gasp* beaten Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic was definitely one to watch.

Before long though, his uphill battle against a frankly superior Rafael Nadal was reminding me a little too vividly of how tough it is for new writers (see what I’ve done here?) and in my heart I knew he’d lose despite his fearless fight.

What sustained me through the match and made me root for him even harder was the knowledge that he, like every writer with a dream of being published, had learned pick himself up after every set back. He kept hitting the ball after every game and set lost in the hope that maybe, just maybe, all his hard work would pay off.

As writers we have to do the same thing – we pick ourselves up after every form rejection, rejected partial, rejected revisions, and (the toughest of all) rejected fulls, in the hope that eventually the right book will land on the right desk, the right editor will send it up the chain, resulting in the ultimate prize that is The Call.

My first call came via email a little over a year ago and while I treasure it immensely, I yearn for the other Call, The Big One, the life changing one that every writer dreams of.

The Wimbledon Final also reminded me that hard work pays. I have no doubt Berdych will come back stronger – he’s too determined not to. He won’t give up and neither should any writer out there who dreams of the winning the magic prize.

And just to make this even remotely a get-to-know-Maya post, I’ll repeat what my late grandmother used to tell me whenever I had a setback – everything in life happens for a reason. Take it as a lesson and learn from it.

I took that advice to heart and practiced what to say to Gary Barlow from Take That the next time I took his call about the leak in his bathroom. Alas, I left that property management job over 10 years ago so the chances of reliving that moment are nil! But I did pluck up the courage to say hello to Gordon Ramsay when he turned up at my office last week. I hope that made my grandmother smile…

Happy writing!

21 comments:

Joanne Coles said...

Vernon Kay, Gary Barlow, Gordon Ramsay ... I think the most famous person Hull can lay claim to is the lead singer out of the Fine Young Cannibals. Either him or the former England player Nicky Barmby ... exactly my point ;-)

Great post, Maya!

Suzanne Jones said...

Great post, Maya. And I'm v impressed at your famous persons tally - I once waved at Noel Edmunds through the window of the helicopter company I worked for, but that's probably best not mentioned.
XX

Maya said...

Thanks Jo, I like him out of Fine Young Cannibas! Not much to look at but fab, fab voice, so lucky you!

Maya said...

Thanks so much Suzanne. Wow, did you ever get to ride in a heli? One of the many, many things on my "do before I die" list a heli ride over New York/The Grand Canyon. Did Noel Edmunds wave back?

Suzanne Jones said...

Noel Edmunds did wave back - and I was out of proportion chuffed. And yes, one of the perks of the job (there weren't many) was unlimited helicoter rides (sadly only over West London - but, like you, I'd really like to do The Grand Canyon one day).

XX

Maya said...

Still, that very, very, very cool, Suz! Not a lot of people can say that they've ridden in a helicopter! Well done you, and good for Noel for waving back!

Lorraine said...

I think you've introduced yourself pretty well Maya - you like to bump into hard chested men and watch them run around on TV ;-)

Maya said...

That sounds like the life, doesn't it, Lorraine? If only I didn't have the day job getting in my way!

susanwilson44 said...

Don't have many celebrity spots. Saw Naomi Campbell once in the foyer in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was the day of the Tyson/Holyfield fight and all the ear biting stuff. She was surrounded by hundreds of her "people" and to be honest was full of herself.
Also was in the bar at TFI Friday's a few years ago and Jennifer Lopez was the guest. She walked in, sat down next to Chris Evans and started to be interviewed. Unfortunately her manager was standing behind me constantly saying "Is she okay? Is she okay?" Finally I lost patience with the ridiculous woman and turned and said "For ****s sake, she's only stepped away from you ten seconds ago, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRONG WITH HER?" in my nice polite Scottish accent. She shut up at that point and funnily enough I never got flung out!

Maisey said...

Susan, when you saw Naomi was the holding a cell phone...and did you duck?

Great post, Maya! Yes, it's a tough battle to the all-important call, and the battle continues thereafter. You don't just have to write one book...you have to write lots, and as my editor reminded me with a pretty tough revisions letter this morning, it has to be better than what you did before.

But it's a wonderful thing too! If you can accept the challenge and wage the battle, you might find you really do have what it take to win at Wimbledon. Or in Richmond, as the case may be...

Jackie Ashenden said...

Great post Maya. My claim to fame was seeing Scary Spice in Harrods one day. Go the late 90s!
Yep, it's a battle all right. Not saying any more about that aspect of it otherwise a class A vent will be happening here. ;-)

Maya said...

Susan, why you're virtually famous! I bet JLo's manager remembers you...IF she's still her manager. With such a nervous disposition, she probably didn't last the night ;). Did I read somewhere you were coming to the RNA conference? If so, it would be lovely to meet you!

Maya said...

Thanks Maisey. Oops on the revisions letter. But you're almost veteran so I know you'll crack that baby. Is this The Land Stud? Wimbledon's not far from Richmond, so we'll let the loose analogy stand ;)

Maya said...

Thank you kindly, Jackie. Scary Spice in the 90s? I'd have screamed like a crazy groupie, lol!

The waiting sure is tough and the living in hope even tougher. But hang in there, my dear. Praying fervently for good news for you SOON!!

Lacey Devlin said...

Great post Maya. I think it takes a brave person to approach Gordon Ramsay!

Maisey said...

Maya, freakishly, The Land Stud had no revisions. I know, right? Then I dove right into The Russian...and The Russian be all screwed up. LOL. Don't know if I'm a veteran, but, while I indulged in a grade A whine over changing the book (because of course I luuuuuurrrrrrve it.) I DO know what I need to do...

Also, Scary Spice?? My claim to fame: Johnny Depp has a house down the road from me. Think I saw him driving an old truck once.

Maya said...

Wow, Johnny Depp? I have a friend who would be camped outside his house by now if he lived down her road, lol! Yeah, I kinda like Scary Spice. She's fiesty and cool, IMO.

Of course The Land Stud had no revisions - I remember now! Since you know what you need to do, The Russian won't give you as much trouble as The Sheikh did, eh? Happy Writing.

BTW, I read the teaser pages of HVA on the M&B site! Very, very good chica. Just waiting for my copy to arrive now.

Maya said...

Thanks Lacey! I didn't "approach" so much as crossed paths with The Chef From Hell. I was coming out a door and so was he. My colleague spotted him first and went, "Gordon Ramsay!" I followed with a "Hello!" He very un-swearingly, un-snappishly responded with a "hello" and even smiled!

Maisey said...

Ooh! *claps* Thanks!! :D

Sandra Mackness said...

Great post, Maya. Yes, you need to be hungry if you want to succeed. But other factors get in the way. Tennis players get injured - writers get hangovers and crises of confidence? Btw, I used to live in the same village as actor George Baker (Wexford fame) and got used to seeing lovely luvvies like Timothy West, Charles Dance or Jean Simmons turn up.

Jonny Blair said...

Nice article - find it really peculiar that the grand canyon and nicky barmby come up as me and my mate are going to go to the grand canyon and we once won a bet on Nicky Barmby! He scored for Forest and my mate is a Forest fan!