Monday, May 9, 2011

Writing is an Extreme Sport...

So I created a new sport last week. It's called babygate stairboarding. Seriously. I 'housesat' all last week because the rest of the fam was out of town. Aaaaand an alarm clock which was not MY alarm clock, was left with the alarm set... a sure recipe for utter chaos. I'm upstairs, so at first when I woke up and got out of bed, everything seemed normal. But when I went to the bathroom at the top of the stairs, I heard 'the alarm' which sounded like a horrible 'the world is ending, jump ship now' alarm. It also sounded like the security alarm going off and since I'd JUST woken up, never mind the lack of coffee, I panicked.

Anyone who's read my blog for any length of time knows that I'm terrified of fire too, and that doesn't help when there's random alarms going off. SO, I made to run down the stairs, managed to run directly into the baby gate at the top, rather than getting it out of my way. Because I have long finger-toes, my foot got caught up in the wire of the baby gate and I ended up jerking it out of my hand, flipping it flat, with my big, finger-toed foot square on it. And down the stairs we went. To my credit, I stayed upright, surfing the baby gate (have I mentioned that I was wearing a tank top and underwear, I mean really, could it get more epic?) all the way down to where the stairs turn right. It was at that point that the baby gate called it quits. I, of course, continued onward, rolling out into the living room and splattering Round-Headed Cat (she's, well, very round, and subsequently the last to run/first to suffer during episodes of chaos) before I fetched up against a recliner. I was totally uninjured, beyond a little carpet burn, and so was Round-Headed Cat... although she seemed a little more circular and less spherical for an hour or two. And when my head stopped spinning, I realized that the entire thing was WAY FUN. I mean, yeah, it wasn't so good for the old ticker, not at the top of the stairs headed down anyway. But I actually considered the fact that my sled was sitting on the porch, and I was sorely tempted to try another run using it instead of the baby gate... but I didn't. Really, I'm not sure Round-Headed Cat could stand much more excitement, not before breakfast.

Now that I've blathered, I'll get to the point of how writing is an extreme sport. Of course, if you're a writer, you've already probably recognized the whole babygate stairboarding connection. Writing a book is EXACTLY the same, albeit, you normally intend to write a book, unlike my ill-fated trip down the stairs. But you don't always intend to write a book. In fact (just like in my case with the stairboarding) sometimes you were all involved trying to do something entirely unrelated and apart from writing, but shazaam! Suddenly you're on this wild uncontrolled ride and you're not sure what you're doing or how you're doing it, or just how it's going to turn out. And when it's over with, even though you've got a dozen new grey hairs and you'd sell a kidney for some advil, you just can't help looking back at what happened and thinking 'what if we build a really big wooden badger?' and before you know it, you're at the top of the stairs, looking at a blank page again. And I can promise you, even if the next run ends with busted knees and scraped knuckles, no laughter and gut-wrenching defeat, you're going to show up at the top of those stairs again eventually. Because writing is an extreme sport. If everyone did it, it wouldn't be writing. So carry on fellow extreme writers! Fill the world with your attempts at stairboarding and resolve to never turn away from the precipice of 'what if' but instead, to always get a running start before leaping off of it!

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