I Want to Be A Badass

I married into soccer the way other people marry into Catholicism. World Cup is like Lent – we don’t mess around. But in all seriousness, I’ve really come to appreciate the sport. It is a beautiful game, and I enjoy watching, but the thing I love most of all, the reason I keep coming back to sit next to my husband on the couch is this moment:

The moment right after a hard-won goal is scored and the striker loses his damn mind is absolutely captivating to me. I can almost feel that adrenaline pumping in my own veins, feel the exaltation so good it hurts. Almost.

As writers, we don’t really get that moment. When things are going really well we can slip into that magical zone where it doesn’t feel like work, but never have I ever been so overcome with my prose that I’ve slid across the floor on my knees, fists balled, screaming to the heavens.

Writing is like a sloth playing soccer. Though I’ve never actually played a game, and I’ve never (literally) been a sloth, it seems to me an apt metaphor. It’s not that we don’t struggle, or get tired, or sometimes put the ball right where we want it, it’s just that all the emotions of a ninety minute game are stretched out over years (sometimes a lot of years).

I crave that feeling. I wish I could cram the experience of writing a book into ninety minutes. I want to be a fucking badass, sliding across the grass knowing that, hell yes, that just happened. But it’s never going to happen at my laptop, and I don’t know how to manage my disappointment at that.

Am I alone in this? Any other writers out there get that craving for adrenaline and pressure and putting it all on the line? If so, how do you blow off steam? Have you found a way to bring that intensity to your writing? How can we balance the fact that our job is to sit quietly, alone, at a screen all day, when sometimes we want to run and yell and be a total badass? I’m not being rhetorical here, I really want to know…

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2 Responses to I Want to Be A Badass

  1. Bryan Fagan July 13, 2018 at 6:05 am #

    Every now and than I’ll write a pretty damn good paragraph or chapter. Sometimes I’ll hit a home run with a sentence. In that moment it’s just me. My editor hasn’t seen it. The piece may be cut. She may cut it or I will. Or it’ll be a joint decision.

    But in that little slice of life I’m the guy in your picture. I was responsible for the biggest goal in the world’s biggest game. Of course in my mind it’s the Super Bowl but we won’t go there.

    Overall we all have a tiny moments. our imaginary crowd goes bonkers over our work. We’re writers, we can pretend anything and when we did lets go big. Why not?

    As always, good stuff!!!!

    • April July 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

      Bryan, I wish I had an imaginary crowd. I’ll have to work on that.
      (also – futball over football every day of the week – yes, I went there)

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