Horses, Writing and Mental Attitude

     After reading several blogs and books on the craft of writing, the thought struck me as to the similarities between writing and training horses, two very dissimilar subjects.
     Since I am a barrel racer, it is easiest for me to look at the subject from that perspective. When training a horse to run barrels, the first item on your list should be making sure you’ve learned the basic techniques.
     Well, learning to stay on the horse is technically the first step but we’ll consider that to be understood. If possible, training with someone who is an expert in your field will speed things along and make the the learning fun.
     The same holds true for learning to write. Reading craft books and having terrific critique partners helps speed your learning curve, adds enjoyment and lowers your frustration level by several degrees.
     As your horse becomes more proficient at running and turning and you gain confidence, some of your training methods will change to accommodate the rising skill level. As your writing proficiency improves, your technique will change to encompass your new knowledge.
     Perhaps the most important part of both professions is the mental game. An essential part of succeeding, whether you’re training an animal or writing from your heart, is belief in yourself. Although it helps to have friends and family to provide encouragement, your confidence comes from within.

     Fortunately, there are many great books on improving self confidence that range from Grow Rich While You Sleep (silly title, great book) to Barbra Schulte's The Gift. You can learn self confidence.
This quote from Dale Carnegie says it all.
Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.


  1. Love this comparison, Stephanie. I enjoyed the read. Thank you.

  2. Interesting! Agree the mental game is the most important!

  3. Great blog Steph. The mental part is definitely challenging. Will have to check out those books.

  4. The mental part of everything is the hardest to conquer. Odd as it is, in any endeavor, if you think you can, you can. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.