Mindset Motivation: The Greatest Fighters Of All Time

Naturally the talk of the weekend was the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight. There were a couple narratives going on the whole time: Mayweather is too old, past his prime, can’t do it anymore. McGregor doesn’t know how to box, he won’t last, shouldn’t be there.

Both fighters were in there saying “I’m the best ever, I can do this, I’m gonna win.”

And you know what? They were both right.

This is how powerful mindset is in life. If you keep saying that you’re going to win, that you are the best, that you can do it, you won’t win all the time, but each small victory can be a large victory for you and keep you going. Keeping the drive and energy to persevere through tough spots is the difference in the marathon of life between the winners and losers.

You may think I’ve had a bit of a bad month from the outside. I was removed from a pro-writer’s group The Codex Writers, unfairly, as they picked on me for my politics, right after I was admitted entry for my successes in the field (you have to have a certain level of success to join). After removal, I had a hugo-nominated editor defame me, call me all sorts of names. I had New York Times bestseller John Scalzi, one of the most well-known names in the field ramble about me incessantly on twitter. I had another hugo winner call me a “white supremacist” and the current best novel hugo winner NK Jemisin talk about how she blocked me intentionally because of how awful I am, even though she’d never interacted with me.

On top of that, the only one that really hurt: I lost a friend in Beth Cato, who attacked a writer friend of mine on the Codex Writers and because I stood up to that, and she of course couldn’t swallow a little pride and defend me from the attacks I received for doing the right thing, she blocked me. This one hurt most as I’ve done a lot to push her books over the years and even am solely responsible for getting her a Dragon Award nomination.

That’s a lot to endure! The Sci-Fi industry is toxic. People who hate the genre, hate fun, and don’t want anyone in their little Mean Girls club to get any sort of prominence will do anything to tear writers down from the outside.

But do you know what? My mindset means it’s not even going to slow me down.

I jokingly called myself the Floyd Mayweather of Science Fiction this weekend, and I thought, you know what? That’s not a bad analogy. My opponents and haters expend a ton of energy on me. They get really riled up, outraged that I exist, that I won’t play by their rules and wait in line, that I refuse to hate the people they tell me to hate and that i love everyone equally (including them! I know one day I’ll see some of these folk in person, they’ll apologize and we’ll be good, I don’t hold grudges when people treat me right).  I found it to be a pretty good comparison actually. When I get jabbed at incessantly, I use that to sell more books every time — and it works every time. I don’t go out there intentionally trying to get these people to hate me, but they can’t help it, and they throw hard punches, overstepping and making it very easy to dodge and get in that counterblow — exactly the way Mayweather fights and exactly the way Mayweather wins.

And McGregor is about as inspiring as it comes this weekend. It wasn’t his field, it wasn’t his place to be in the ring with this champion, and he held his own. He did everything he could and he actually picked more rounds off of Mayweather than I’ve seen anyone do in years.  Despite the commentariat — the people who make their drive by negativity their livelihoods, he showed that he is a fighter, and that’s worthy of respect. Not only do both fighters have my immense respect for taking their risks, but they won monetarily for it too. Why? Because the public respects people standing up and not running away. When the going gets tough, the tough get going as was so famously said in Animal House.

It’s all about the mindset. I’m selling books, and that’s what matters to me.

So really, can anyone disagree when I take a page out of Mayweather’s playbook and say For Steam And Country is The Best Ever? Or, the Best Steampunk Ever as I now brand it? I believe in the book, and so do a lot of readers. It doesn’t matter what a few jealous haters in the industry call me

2 thoughts on “Mindset Motivation: The Greatest Fighters Of All Time

  1. Nice post.

    I’ve often wondered about that too: does a writer need to think of himself as the best? The best writer ever? Or at least the best writer of his generation? (And who is the best writer of my generation – Gen X – anyway? Scalzi?) It probably does keep you going when you can’t make much money or get very much work published. If I didn’t think I was good (or even great) at writing, I wouldn’t do it.

    I’ve also thought that writing is a bit analogous to boxing. I’m in that ring trading punches with what – words, I suppose. I’m trying to get those words to line up just right . . . for that knockout punch! You can feel it when you’ve nailed that story – when you’ve gotten the ideas, the imagery, the tone, the emotions that dance nimbly in your mind just right and you’ve just converted them into words on a page that someone else can experience. That story is no longer taunting you like Muhammad Ali, it’s laid out flat on the mat and you’re ready to move on to the next one.

    At the same time, I’ve had other stories, or at least parts of stories, defeat me. I just couldn’t find the right words and had to leave it as ‘good enough.’

    • Agreed on your thoughts. I see a lot of writers post about how they struggle writing and all that, and I think you can avoid some defeats with a proper positive outlook 🙂

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