The boys are racing in Alabama on the superspeedway of Talladega today. The race is starting a few minutes early due to weather concerns. I’m glad Nascar is finally doing this. Starting early rather than cutting a race short at the end. Believe me, the fans and the rednecks will show up no matter when you start it. But they’ll be some kinda pissed when you force the ending.
Superspeedways like Talladega and Daytona has seen some of the most incredible racing (save for those few a couple of years ago where they just ran around the track in single file) and some of the most heartbreaking.
It’s exciting to see them on the track at those speeds, full throttle, huge packs of cars moving together.
One of the things I’ve learned watching this sport, is that at the speeds they drive, whether on superspeedways or on smaller tracks, once the driver decides to make a move, in that moment, he can’t second guess himself. He had to keep going in the direction he chose, whether he’s making the move alone or taking other drivers with him. If he second guesses himself, like in yesterday’s Nationwide race when Joey Coulter started to move out of line but then changed his mind at the last minute… He was wrecked. He wasn’t able to communicate his change of heart.
Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes writing is like that. Once you choose a direction, dropping to the inside or going up on the high side, it’s often hard to back out of it because you can be wrecked. Going with your gut, be it right or wrong in someone else’s eyes, or in your own hindsight, is always the best policy in my book. Only, I haven’t been doing that with my writing for a long time time. I second guess every word I write, I do things now I didn’t used to do, I hold back… And it burns me every time. Readers are ‘meh’ about my books, reviewers are even worse than ‘meh’ and I’m left feeling like I shouldn’t even bother, day in and day out.
In racing, when you lose your edge, you should probably get out of the car or you’re going to get run over and put into the wall. You’ll cause more crashes than you’ll stay out of.
In writing, when you lose your edge, for whatever reason, you’ll get passed and eventually no one will remember the books you wrote.
Is there a way to get the edge back? I don’t know. I’ve been trying but I can’t seem to quite do it. In the end, we all have to work on our own cars in the garage and our own manuscripts in the folder, hoping that maybe we’ll find that extra bit of something that will keep us competitive and in the race rather than crashed in the middle of the pack, our day ended early, and that sick feeling in our gut again.
Best of luck to Kyle Busch in the #18 M&M’s Camry today… He’s starting 13th.