Esther Ciganda

Mar 17, 2022

How basketball can help you become a better writer

When I was 18, I remember watching the Fab 5 in the NCAA tournament.  Today, before writing my 6th atomic essay, I was watching one of the members of the Fab 5 coaching his Alma Mater to a 1st Round victory. Back then I was a fan of the Fab 5, today I was rooting against the team.  

You might be wondering what does basketball have to do with writing. The connection became clear as I was watching. Thirty years ago, let alone 10, I would’ve never seen myself generating ideas to write about while watching March Madness games.

Basketball was inspiring me to write!

I’m a diehard sports fan and I’ve been fortunate to play sports internationally as well. I’m athletic and love working out. But I’ve never seen myself capable of publishing essays that people would actually read. That was a skill I really didn’t care to develop.

Also, I had excelled at writing as a student, but it wasn’t as easy as working out stoichiometry problems in Chemistry or dissection exams in Anatomy Physiology. Notice…it wasn’t easy! When I chose to start an online business, I learned I had to start writing online. Not an easy task!  

I tried writing blogs and social media posts. I showed up a bit. I admired the ability of everyone who wrote, but meanwhile, doubts started to creep in.  Thoughts like:

  • Everyone else is a great writer.

  • I’ll never be able to write like them.

  • They make it look so easy.

  • My writing is boring.

The doubts were there, but not once did I think of quitting. Looking for a hack or shortcut? Yup! And if a student of mine had these doubts, I would tell them to keep writing and keep practicing. It was a classic case of do as I say not as I do.

And watching basketball on Day 1 of the March Madness tournament in 2022 would be that pivotal moment!

To become a writer like those I admired, I had to put in the time! It was the only way! You see, I wasn’t looking for perfect. I was looking for easy! It hit me: the more I practiced and wrote in public, the easier it would get. 

If you’ve been struggling with writing like I have, then stop comparing to those who’ve been practicing longer than you have. 

Remember…to become a prolific writer takes time. The more you practice, the better you get. And the better you get, the easier it becomes to write more. I have a long way to go still. However, this may be the realization I needed to get over myself and start practicing more.

Esther Ciganda

Multilingual + Multipassionate Veteran Teacher writing about my pivot to Edupreneur | Daughter of Basque Immigrants & Farmers | Podcaster | 🧠 tumor survivor