Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The thing is, he was gung-ho about playing basketball this summer. Every week he went to a local gym and played with a bunch of homeschool boys, nothing really formal, just getting to know each other and starting the process of learning to play the game. Since James has never played organized sports before, we thought this might be a good way to 'get the ball rolling' if you'll forgive the pun.
This weekend we went to the informational meet and greet for the basketball players and families. We learned when his practices would be and when and where most of the games would be. (It looks like I'm going to be doing a lot of shuttle runs this year.) We learned about the cost of the program, and who the coaches were.
That enthusiasm has gone up and down, high and low, over the summer and now when he's facing his first season of competitive sports, he's a little uncertain about just what he's bitten off and whether he's up to the task.
This has put me in mind of the writing journey. It's easy to have all the enthusiasm in the world, dreaming of how things will be on the other side of the mountain. But then the hard work starts. The practicing, the skills drills, the meetings, the lessons, the defeats. Forming new friendships, getting rejected, and day after day, putting in the work.
We long ago established the family rule that if you express an interest in something and ask to sign up for it, then you have to stick to that thing for one year, so regardless of any ambivalent feelings or ups and downs of the season, James knows he's committed for one year to playing basketball. By this coming spring, he will have an entire season under his belt and may have discovered a love for the sport. Regardless, he will discover a lot of things about himself.
Sticking to the process of writing a novel is much the same. Somedays it's hard to be enthusiastic. There are lots of ups and downs. But if you do stick with it, if you put in the time and effort and actually finish a book, you will learn so much about yourself in the process.
Did you play sports in high school?