I was watching an interview with Martina Navratilova and she quoted Billie Jean King.
'The ball never came over the net the same twice.'
It really struck me as profound because it was one of the reasons that Billie Jean King kept up her interest and success in the game for so long.
Maintaining that degree of focus and attention to detail has to be a key differences between the champion, at anything, and the next best.
Relating it to writing I guess it has to be the passion to choose the most appropriate and focused words possible. In writing there is natural talent just as in tennis. But there's also the determination to rise above the rejection that all writers feel and invest the time and effort.
In the western world we all have the same alphabet to use. It's what we do with it that counts to inspire, set alight or comfort others.
I've just finished reading Nadine Gordimer's Get A Life. Such elegant but intense writing. You can imagine her weighing the words to produce the result she aimed for.
It's one of those books that produces questions in your mind that you can't answer in a second.