Monday, June 24, 2013

Ups and downs

Just a few weeks ago, tennis player Rafael Nadal hoisted the winner's trophy at the French Open (Roland Garros) for a record-breaking eighth time.

Today, he lost in the first round at Wimbledon, to 135th-ranked Steve Darcis.

It's the kind of whiplash-inducing turnabout that occurs in tennis ... and writing. One day everything's clicking. You're living up to your full potential, using every tool in your toolbox at the right time. You've mastered the game. The next day, you're stumbling around as if in concrete slippers, and nothing's working.

Some people say you're only as good as your last game (or book), but I don't buy it. In Nadal's case, he already has a Hall-of-Fame-caliber career even if he never picks up a racquet again. A story, or a draft, that misses the mark doesn't mean a writer has lost the magic either.

A bad day doesn't erase the good ones that came before, nor does it prevent more good ones from coming.

4 comments:

  1. I watched Rafa play this morning and I still can't figure out what went wrong. As for writing - everyday can't be perfect. Sometimes the creativity just isn't there. I have an author that I have read her 10 previous books, but I DNF'ed the last one because it was so bad. (I don't know what she was thinking!) BUT... I purchased her next book, and I will also purchase any future books she writes. I have faith that she has more good days (and books) than bad ones.

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    1. The score was close, even though it was straight sets. But kudos to Darcis, who was obviously having one of his better days!

      I've also been pleasantly surprised when I liked the second book by an author whose first book I didn't like. So it's always worth a try!

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  2. I love this, thank you! It erases the pressure to write a masterpiece in every single sentence. I certainly strive for that, but realize all my past accomplishments are still that ... really great accomplishment. And the next thing will be too. :)

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    1. To use another sports metaphor, we can't hit a home run every time at bat. All we can do is show up and take our best swing.

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