Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Lessons from the Dunking Booth
As many of you know, this past Saturday, I was in a dunking booth for my school's Spring Fling. As I sat in the dunking booth, I learned a couple of lessons about life.
The first lesson was that often it takes someone with some experience to help you get started. I had never been in a dunking booth before but my wonderful principal, being an old hand, was able to give me some advice and a helping hand. I couldn’t even get into the booth until someone got chairs for outside and inside the booth. Without that, I might have eventually made it into the booth, but it much faster and more effective with some assistance. This reminded me of the assistance and advice more experienced writers have given to Pantster and me. Without our more experienced friends, we might be moving forward but our journey would be slower and less effective.
The second lesson from the dunking booth was that you never know when the bottom is going to fall out. One of the first kids to pitch at me was a fifth grader who is quite the athlete. I just KNEW he was going to drop me into the water. I held my nose and braced myself for the dunking I was sure I'd get. He missed all three pitches. Then a couple of kids later, this cute little second grader stepped up. I was chatting with someone (yeah, I know that is a surprise!), not really paying attention. This was a BIG mistake. I wasn’t holding my nose and my mouth was open; down I went into the yucky water. Turns out the second grade, Cutie-Pie, is an All Star softball pitcher. Who knew? I can also relate this to our writing experience. Sometimes Pantster and I are sure we are on the right track. Maybe we have had a successful pitch and the editor has requested a full submission, or maybe we're just excited about sending a query to an agent who seems like a really good match. Then the rejection hits the bottom falls out. I feel as if I am floundering around, sucking the nasty water of judgment into my nose and mouth—just drowning in the misery of it all for a bit, before surfacing to shake the water off and start all over again.
How about you? Do your friends help you with the journey of life? Are there times when you feel as if the bottom has dropped out of your world, but you learn something valuable from the experience?