What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Little League Moment - NaNoWriMo

When I was learning how to play baseball in little league, we had a small rule. If you get a hit or bunt, you run to first base. You run your little heart out. And you dig in without thought of heading to second, you just run to first as full out as your little pre-pubescent legs can carry you. And you tag first base, always. Always. Always.

If your fly ball is caught, you tag first base. If it's a foul ball, you tag first base. If you're thrown out at the plate, you tag first base. If you're tagged out on the way, you tag first base. If you trip on those still growing legs that make you run like a drunken baby-giraffe, roll in the dirt, are unable to gain your footing before the next 8 innings go by, you tag first base.

For those of you writing for NaNoWriMo, this is an object lesson. If you're behind, keep running for first base. If you're ahead, keep running for first base. If you've already finished your 90,000 opus (40,000 words over the NaNoWriMo goal) you keep running for first base. First base is November 31st, and, baby, you better keep running to first base.

That's the lesson NaNoWriMo teaches.

You only lose when you stop running (and that's the lesson I need to relearn).


Eric said...
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Eric said...

What if the ball hits you in the crotch and you fall into the dirt face first, doubled up in pain and everybody is screaming at you, "Run! Run you little S.O.B.! and so you pick yourself up off the ground but you're still in tremendous agony from your groin up to the bottom of your ribcage from the impact so you waddle two or three bowlegged steps towards first base and then you fall face-first into the dirt and begin to sob inconsolably with the hurt and shame (feeling like neither will ever go away, not ever, though the physical trauma will heal long before the emotional rent has mended), and you can still hear people screaming at you to run even though your eyes are sealed shut despite the tears and dirt and chalk you can feel between your eyelids and your eyeballs and you can't breathe because of the snot and sand in your nose so you start trying to writhe your way in the direction of first base like some kind of blind worm, except if you could actually open your eyes and lift your head what you'd see is what anybody else looking would--that you're only rolling and twisting towards the half-empty bleachers?

Because that's really my NaNoWriMo experience this year, summed up briefly and without rhetorical recourse or any sort of hyperbole or exaggeration.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, if the ball hits you from a pitch, I guess you could walk it off on your way to first base, if you wanted to be a pansy about it.