Though the Olympic flame as been extinguished and the final portable commode pumped dry, I’m still thinking of polymer-wrapped ski jumpers leaning forward and flying silently through the air toward a graceful — seemingly magical — touchdown near the Subway Sandwich banner. There are several reasons this image has stuck with me, including the many stark contrasts between these jumpers and when I attempted something similar, using a pair of roller skates and my children’s backyard slide. I’m not going to get into the details here because 1) this is supposed to be a post about writing, and 2) I can’t risk putting my kids back into therapy.
All I will tell you is that there was a fair amount of screaming (from me, not the kids), not much “hang time” and a nearly fatal touch-down, which was technically more of an Olympic-sized face-plant. And we’ll just leave it at that. But for anyone who saw my “pole dancing” video knows I’m not exaggerating.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a reason I brought up ski jumping in regard to this week’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing. I realize this isn’t always the case. However, as I watched the Olympics I couldn’t help but think of how, from start to finish, the act of ski jumping is an analogy for what a writer goes through, from manuscript to publication. Except without the risk of landing in a tree (depending on your publisher’s marketing plan.) Continue reading