Did you watch the Winter Olympics?
I did. I enjoyed watching most of the events even if I didn't like the way NBC broadcast them - here, there, everywhere.
Like reading a book, I prefer to start at the beginning and read each page – good, bad, or ugly. I never skip to the back. I even read Tom Clancy's mechanical descriptions. If I'm going to read a book, I'm going to read it – all of it.
If I'm going to watch an Olympic event, I want to watch all of it. I want to see all the competitors, not just the ones who NBC decides have "medal" potential. How can I judge how good the winners are if I don't see the losers? Hey, maybe today's losers will be the winners next time, and I was denied an opportunity to see them when they were inexperienced, awkward, and just starting out. And what about their mothers? Don't you think they wanted to see their kid on television?
I know there were more than 6 female figure skaters at the Olympics, but the "powers that be" decided I didn't need to see them. I don't even know what I missed.
What if "writing" was like competing in the Olympics? What if the major publishers were like the broadcast networks – they only promoted a few books – the ones they decided had "medal" potential? What if the newbie writers, like the young skaters, couldn't get seen unless they did the writer's equivalent of a triple axel, triple toe-loop? Or had a compelling story? A perp-walk? A comeback from a terrible injury? A "bad-boy (or bad-girl)" attitude?
Writing is like the Olympics. Sigh.
Good starts are vital. Keep a tight form, pay attention to detail, follow the rules so you don't get disqualified, keep up your speed, keep your cell phone turned on in case your agent/coach calls to tell you about your big break, and finish – always finish.
And it doesn't hurt to get in front of the camera every chance you get.
Writing is like the Olympics.
(Off to sharpen her skates, uh ... pencils.)
p.s. Why do the bobsled athletes wear capri pants?
p.p.s. Please excuse a little self-promotion. Evelyn David won a mini-writing contest this weekend!! The short-short story had to be under 200 words. But don't be fooled by the length. Mac Sullivan doesn't need a dictionary to solve the whodunnit. Check it out at the Working Stiffs blogspot.