Writers and Racers

Yesterday, DH and I took the ‘Vette out for a Sunday drive through rural East Texas. With the wind whipping through the car, he drove while I turtled in the sun until the temperature rose above 94. The total relaxation for me was wonderful after a stressful week, and the race on Saturday night. It wasn’t a bad race and it wasn’t a good race. It was a boring race, even watching it on video. Yeah, DH & I critiqued my driving style and why I didn’t mash the gas all the way. What I wanted was a do-over and if I had, I would have done a pit manuever on the driver ahead of me to get him out of my way.

But my time in the fresh air had me thinking. Writing can be a lot like a race—good, bad, and boring. Like I let that driver control my race because I wanted to stay ‘safe.’  To save my race car from a possible crash, I was too cautious, and well, boring. Some writers are the same as they never venture out of their comfort zone.

Then you have the balls to the wall, foot through the floorboard personality who zooms ahead, not caring if they produce good work. Careless without a clue—they will smash into or run over anyone near them. A good racer and smart writer plan as well as look to the next turn on the track, but they also are able to adjust to the track conditions. Flexible, using instinct as well as common sense.

Although I finished the race a respectable 10th out of 18, I was still disappointed in my performance, as I have been for the last few years with my writing, only producing a bland short story. Better safe than sorry, but that’s not the way a writer sells. No one wants to read safe and boring. And I if I never venture farther than that, I’ll never sell another book. Or win a race.

(Sorry, no You-Tube video clip from me this week although I did produce another 12 minute video complete with music!)

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8 thoughts on “Writers and Racers

  1. Now, I might be able to watch you race a boring race! It’s when you talk about all those crashes and crazy wrecks you talk about….makes me nervous!

  2. Whether you come in first or tenth, you’re always a winner to us! I’m glad I don’t watch you race. I’d be nervouse wreck.
    As for writing being like racing…yeah, but sometimes when I “race”, I feel like I’m wearing a blindfold and can’t see where I’m going. So not cool!

    • Awww, thanks, Jackie!!! You might not be so nervous if you knew how much we value safety.

      I like your analogy about racing with a blindfold. I’m stealing that one!

      While I thought I was being glib about racing and writing, they have so much in common.

  3. Absolutely loved the post, Meg! If I were closer, I’d give you a hug because you’re upset with yourself for playing it safe in your race. Then I’d smack you for not going out there and doing what you know needs to be done.

    You’re an excellent driver (and writer!) so why are you being so cautious? In both venues? Get out of your comfort zone and go balls to the wall (love that saying!!)! We’re right there with you, either in the stands cheering you on, in the pit keeping you going or on the track giving you not so gentle nudges to get your racing — and writing — careers to that checkered flag and a first place finish.

    • Thanks, Linda! I do believe you’d smack me! Comfort makes life too easy at times, yet in a race car you have to be comfortable in your seat, in knowing that you are as safe as possible, and in your car. Then go to the front ahead of the pack. Maybe one day I’ll win a race, but until then, I’ll keep on racing as hard as I can.

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