I never used to be a sports person, but shortly after we started dating, D, who is a longtime NFL fan, introduced me to football and insisted I pick a team to root for. Not knowing a thing about football or the NFL I picked my team based on team colours, team name, and whether the starting quarterback was hot. Over the years since I’ve come to know a little more about the game. ;) I’ve watched the Superbowl nearly every year, but I’ll be working this year so I’ll miss it.
The last few years the winners of the game – in fact, often both teams in the SB – weren’t the ones with the best regular-season record. They weren’t the ones who got off to a fast start. They were ones who were so-so to begin with but kept working and practicing and gelling as a team, and ended up hitting their stride mid-way through the season.
And in some respects this reminds me of writing. There are some authors who break out with their first novel ever written – superbly talented authors who worked hard to polish that one up. But I’d argue that most of the breakout novels aren’t an author’s first. In fact, probably most debuts aren’t the author’s first manuscript. Because it takes time to practice and build up that experience and rhythm that provides the skill and momentum for success.
The regular season doesn’t actually count for awards, but it’s vitally important to the winning team’s success, because it provides that necessary time to practice and improve. Nearly every author has trunked novels that are basically their regular season. Personally, I’ve got five so far. (It’s been a long regular season for me. But I’ve gained so much experience from it.)
Aaaand that’s my stretch of a Superbowl writing tie-in. :) Enjoy the game, everyone!