Discover more from Betsy Dornbusch
the prime effect
Hi yes how are you I’m irregular about substack…ing(?) whatever we call it sorry not sorry. Besides working a lot on two books and dealing with fire stuff (still! but mostly shopping so not all a grind) and now FOOTBALL SEASON WOOT there isn’t a lot of time for extra blathering.
Things have changed here in Boulder and you don’t have to be a football fan to notice. We’re longtime Colorado Buffs fans (had season tix for …. I don’t know. More years than I can think back on now and our son graduated Colorado a year ago). Performance has been lackluster in past years, to say the least. I could wax poetic on how great this new team is, how fun to watch (not perfect, but great for a team with so many moving parts) but that’s not what this is about.
This is about the impact of Deion Sanders, Coach Prime, and having a real life hero in our midst.
I’m not saying, like his team, he’s anything like perfect. He’s done some shit I don’t approve of, I’m the first to say. But he’s been on the worldwide stage for a long, long time and he knows what he is doing, from Football to Dealing with the Press. I’m finding myself watching him like I do artists, writers, and musicians. He is a fascinating person who has invaded our relatively calm town, and there are things to learn from him.
Do the work
Deion is widely quoted, after being asked how great it felt after CU’s rather shocking first win, "Santa don't have time, you know? He gotta deliver the gifts. He ain't got time to enjoy his cookies."
You can imagine how this translates to writing, which really should be 75% of what we do.
Aim high: “If your dream ain't bigger than you, there's a problem with your dream.”
Be deliberate. It’s obvious watching him coach and with the press that nearly everything he does is planned and has a reason.
Don’t badmouth your competition, especially the winners.
It’s gonna backfire. Publishing is a small industry.
The latest example is the CSU Rams coach this week, who made fun of Coach Prime wearing a hat and sunglasses to many of his press conferences. I don’t know why he does, whether it’s just a style choice or he feels squinty in the lights shining on him. Anyway the Rams coach threw some shade (see what I did there), and so the team all wore sunglasses to their meeting this morning. Now it’s spreading through the fandom to wear sunglasses to the night game tomorrow. A bit of a backfire there to badmouth a winner.
(Rowling is exempted from this rule: fuck her and her anti-trans rhetoric. If you say something like I just did there, be prepared to defend it. Be okay with it in any circumstance. Publishing is SMALL and you never know who you’re gonna meet.)
Be kind to everyone from the press to fellow players and coaches
His press conferences are a bit of a joy to watch. He greets every journalist asking him a question as if he’s really glad to see them. “How you doin’ man?” “How are you today?” and the press is responding, getting a little flashier in their answers, and also often asking him how he is, which turns those quick exchanges into something human and genuine. I mean, he’s pretty likeable.
Yeah, well, it wasn’t always so. The perfect example of how he treated the kids who had been playing for CU and basically shooing them out the door. It’s football, it’s tough and competitive, and that’s the way it was going to be. I just felt he was a bit harsh to the kids who came before, who held the fortress through some pretty bad times. We don’t play that way here in Colorado or in the West. Basically people here try to be kind (not perfectly, but try) and friendly and straightforward. Deion has noticed and adapted. His attitude has changed somewhat. From how he speaks to his openness to positive reports from him around town. He mentions CU from time to time and about how much he likes the town and university. People who live in Boulder are fanatic about where we live. It’s pretty great, after all. It’s important to us. He’s obviously caught on to that. It’s subtle but it shows he’s paying attention to this new culture he’s entered.
Have human ideals first.
Sanders doesn’t hide his faith and he isn’t shy to talk about it. When asked about his coaching staff he mentioned that he felt being good parents was extremely important. How could they teach someone else’s kids if they didn’t teach their own kids well? He’s drawn diversity to town and the university. He mentions his kids with pride all the time. Being a dad is obviously essential to who he is. Most answers to questions allude to the hard work. It’s easy to see what his ideals are.
Anyone in the public eye (and if you write and publish, you ARE in the public eye) needs personal ideals. They don’t have to be everyone else’s but they need to exist. Think about what your ideals are (you likely have them already.) Be able to rattle them off. Be unapologetic about what is important to you. It makes you a better writer and a better person.
Push your game from how you present yourself to what you write.
Deion has his own style, constantly changing, I’ve noticed, amid the constants of hard work and his ideals. It’s fun to see and makes you wonder what he’ll turn up in next, what he’ll say next. Musicians are much the same. When you’re going to a con, think about how you present yourself, how you want to present yourself. Think about what you want folks to see and take away from how you dress to what you talk about. Let yourself play with your own style. Make it fun for people to see you. Which leads to my last point
Have some fucking fun!
No need to be so serious! You can be enthusiastic about what you do! It’s okay to do some bragging, to be excited about your own work, and about others’ work too. If you feel the need to mention sounding arrogant just pull another sentiment paraphrased from Deion: It might sound arrogant, but that’s the standard we hold ourselves to. I came here to be the best.
GO BUFFS! WE COMING!
Thanks for reading! Subscribe for Random Free Musings!