Why I’m Glad Writing Is Not a Performance Sport

1) I’ve been watching some of the Olympics, and it’s so heartbreaking when a supremely skilled athlete has a bad day and watches golden dreams slip away.

2) I’m “driving” a prop car for Minnesota Brass this season in our Bonnie & Clyde show. Due to a perfect storm of drill changes, storms, equipment issues, and a bad day, my new driving partner and I couldn’t get the car moving (Flintstone-style) on the count we needed to. The intro involves a chase scene where the car flies down the field and the horn players cross just behind us. In the best of situations, it’s scary, tight timing. Saturday night, a judged show, was not the best of situations. We ended up way late, and we literally plowed through the horn players, who had already crossed–but in front of us, not behind us, because we weren’t where we were supposed to be. Oi.

Both of these have made me extra grateful to be a writer. Until the day it’s published, any writing performance can be improved. The bad days can be fixed by revision. Without an audience. Without humiliation. I plow through poems and picture book manuscripts regularly, leaving carnage behind. I’m just glad my bad writer days don’t have scores flashing around the world (with deductions for every error) or horn players gaping as they jump out of my way.

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