19 Aug
2013
Posted in: Sports, Writing
By    8 Comments

Unlike Football, Writing Has No Season

The excitement is growing in my home. Fall is almost here. That means the football season begins soon. You could make an argument that there aren’t regular seasons in my house. Instead, we recognize the passage of time as Football Season, Game of Thrones Season and Is There Football Yet? Season.

My love for football began my freshman year of high school. The first game I went to was a Friday night after volleyball try outs.

I remember halfway through the first play feeling confused. Why were some players tackling each other and others weren’t? Why didn’t the team with the ball keep possession until they scored? How come the quarterback didn’t always throw the ball? Was he blind? Someone was obviously open right there!

My confusion fed my curiosity. Ignoring the girlish chatter of my friends, I hunkered down and focused on the game, determined to work out its mysteries. By halftime, I’d begun to sense a strategy. The way offensive and defensive lines switched. The benefit of punting the ball on fourth down. The differences between running and throwing the ball.

Now, I didn’t know what the football terms, like fourth down or off sides, meant, but I was learning. Just like someone who doesn’t understand baseball can figure out how many strikes a batter gets and how many outs a team needs before returning to hit.

To me, the most intriguing part of the football game was when the quarterback threw the ball to an empty place. Yet, by the time the ball reached that spot a receiver appeared.

It seemed like magic. As if they could see into the future.

Of course, its not really  magic. It’s work. Today, I know the quarterback and his receivers have routes planned out beforehand. So, during the huddle,  if the quarterback tells his team they’re going to do play ‘Bravo Alpha Alpha,’ the receivers automatically know which way, or route, to run. They’ve practiced it oh so many times.

Yet, despite all this planning, the good quarterbacks and receivers still make it seem magical. This is why I love watching football– for the moments that make me believe anything is possible.First Round Pick by DonkerDink, on Flickr

Writing requires the same kind of planning and trust. Like the quarterback who throws the ball, trusting his receiver will be there, writers send out their work time and time again, trusting that someone will catch it and give it a home.

My critique partner, Spirit Lady, recently learned her manuscript, Voodoo Butterfly, is a finalist in the NW Houston Romance Writers of America Lone Star Contest. When she first starting writing it, she didn’t know what would happen. Instead, she had faith that an agent or editor was out there, running a route that would eventually lead them to her book. She just had to do the work.

As writers, we can all relate to this kind of trust. It can be frustrating to receive rejections time and time, but we all know it just takes once.

What I love about writing is all writers can have that moment. There is no set season for writing. For Spirit Lady, I hope her moment has come.

The ball is in the air, and anything is possible.

Photo by:
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License by DonkerDink
The Detroit Lion’s first round pick, Calvin Johnson, snags a pass during their pre-season opener against the Bengals on Aug. 9, 2007.

8 Comments

  • I love football to…welll – I don’t understand it. But I love watching my 10th grader play! Maybe this year a few varisty games :)

  • Geeky Lady–You are so right–I never really thought about baseball or football like this. . .

    Busy Lady–YAY for B! I hope he does get a few varsity games under his belt.

    And of course, SUPER CONGRATS to SPIRIT LADY! This is so very, very exciting and does show how HARD WORK and learning your craft REALLY pay off. :)

  • You are so right about writing being in season all year long, but for some reason I tend to write more in the fall and winter. And great news for Spirit Lady. I, too, hope her moment has come. She read the first chapter of her novel at Saturday Writers once, and I still remember the image of the butterflies.

    • Donna: What an awesome memory you have and what an amazing and powerful scene that is. You should read the revised version–AWESOME! :)

  • Thanks for the love, ladies. The football analogy is spot on: gotta keep our heads in the game, focus on where we need to be, and make the catch.

  • Big Congrats to Spirit Lady and to you Geeky Lady for reminding us how important it is to keep our head in the game. It’s so easy to get sidetracked.

  • This is great, I love it! I wish Spirit Lady all the best!

  • Great visual because sometimes that’s exactly how it feels– throwing our work out and seeing if it will be received.

So, what do you think?