Why do I envy Iowan Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson? Is it her skill, talent, adorable smile, medals, bouncy ponytail, grit; is it her fresh-faced million dollar marketing potential and her ability to fly and twirl upside-down without batting an eye, sometimes on a four-inch wide board? Surely it’s not HER calorie count, which is undoubtedly fewer than Michael Phelps’ allotment.
I envy Shawn Johnson her ability to ignore the irritations and inherent unfairness of being judged in a highly subjective and often mysterious way (as writers are), nevertheless keeping her eyes on the prize (as writers need to) and moving forward, confident that persistence, hard work, and skill will result in success…or will be their own reward (as writers must think). I’m sure getting a gold medal in the first competition would have been absolutely fabulous, but I can’t help but believe that it’s the journey here and the struggle (as is so often the case with writers) that makes this hard-earned gold medal so much more valued.