For the Love of the Game?

Nothing brings out more fan complaints than a strike or lockout by their favorite sports team.

Right now, that means the NBA is the focus but at any given time that can change to any sport. And the favorite complaint is: “It’s all about the money—not the love of the game.”

Sports fans utter and bemoan this fact all the time.

The loyal basketball fans are very much complaining about this at the moment. Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game? Most of the pro athletes became professional athletes because they love their game, whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, or even bowling. T

here are few were able to get into the sport because of their last name, but most professional athletes do it the old-fashioned way—God-given talent along with hard work, determination, and perseverance. But an odd thing happens as they become professionals in the sport.

It’s not just about the love of the game any longer.

It can’t be. Because the game becomes their livelihood, their job, and their paycheck. And that means things change. That doesn’t make them bad guys—or girls, it’s just a fact of life. It doesn’t mean they don’t still love the game, but…When you become a professional, things change.

I’ve experienced this myself this year.

For fifteen years, I wrote because I loved to write. I wrote because I loved to read.

Funny thing happened when I got those two book contracts in my hand. Now, it wasn’t just about the love of the game any longer, it was about being successful at the game. It changed everything—for awhile.

But as so often happens, God has a way of speaking to us when we least expect it as well as when we need it the most.

A few weeks ago as I was lying in bed reading in the middle of the day because I was sick, I had an epiphany. In spite of being sick, miserable, and in pain, I was having a good time—just me and my book.

It occurred to me that I’d become so focused on my writing and on making my book successful, I’d forgotten why I write in the first place. Because I love books and I have a message God wants me to share. 

Writing is fun for me, and, hopefully, because it’s fun for me, that’s what makes my books enjoyable for my readers as well. I’d lost that joy in books. I’d been so busy trying to be a successful writer, I’d forgotten how much I love books.

Lesson learned!

As in all things, whether life or my writing life, moderation is the key. Proverbs 16:32 says “moderation is better than muscle.” I like that.

When things get out of balance, we start to lose our perspective and our moderation. And that’s when things start going haywire in our life.

I want to be a successful writer, but not at the expense of losing my love of the game. I still want to win the game! I want to be the best writer I can be and sell lots of books, but I will do that within the context of keeping it all in perspective and keeping it balanced.

Simply put, I love books, whether I’m reading them or writing them. And I want my readers to have the same enjoyable experience when they read my books. When they close my book after reading the last sentence, I hope they say, “Now, that’s a writer who loves books as much as I do.”

And that’s my definition of success!

QUESTION: What’s your definition of success—as a writer or in life?


  1. Pingback: MARY ELLIS–Writer of the Day! | TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES

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