Hubby: “Bye, baby. See you later tonight.” (Kisses.)
Me: “You remember what I say every time, right?”
Hubby: “Yea, I’ll return to you whole.”
Me: “Completely whole. And alive.”
Hubby: “Right, I will. I love you.” (More kisses.)
Me: “Wait. You know that’s not all.”
Hubby shifts from one foot to another and glances at the clock. He’s impatient. Not that I have any idea what it’s like for him be impatient with me.
Hubby: “All right, what?”
Me: “You return to me completely whole and alive with not even a fingernail missing. Got it?”
Hubby tries hard not to roll his eyes. He’s hardly successful.
Hubby: “Yes, fine, all my nails and hairs and skin particles will be intact.” (Mockery is unwelcome. But even more kisses make it okay.)
The above conversation occurs every time my husband has a track day. Hubby rides a motorcycle. He has two: one for the road and one for track days. (And yet the other day when I said it’d be beneficial for my career to have a desktop computer in addition to my laptop, he thought I was being silly. Can you believe that? Now how the heck is that fair?) Track days are organized events giving motorcyclists the opportunity to race around a track at risky speeds unacceptable on main roads.
Even though hubby is an experienced rider, wears proper motorcycle gear–helmet, full body suit, boots, gloves–and follows the safety regulations on the road and track days, he has crashed twice (minor crashes; only injuries were scuffed gear and bruised ego). But he risks it because he loves the rushing speed, the open air, the freedom. He rides motorcycles for two simple reasons: it’s fun and he loves it.
It makes me realize how everything we do in life is a risk, even those things we consider fun. You don’t know how things will turn out no matter how prepared you are. This goes for writing, too. Writing isn’t physically risky (or fatally, as far as I know!) like motorcycling, but it’s still mentally and emotionally challenging. Every time we write something, we risk harsh criticism, rejection, and being misunderstood. There’s also the risk of getting everything you want: a byline, bestseller, critical acclaim. Some writers suffer years of writer’s block after achieving unexpected success with their first novel. Writers sacrifice family time and sleep to meet deadlines. Writers risk being in tight financial situations. But no matter the risks or sacrifices, we continue to write because 1.) we’re slightly mad, and 2.) without it, who would we be?
We risk our sanity for two simple reasons: writing is fun and we love it.
“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: ‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, ‘look in thy heart, and write.’” ~Sir Philip Sidney
“I'm one card short of a full deck
I'm not quite the shilling
One wave short of a shipwreck
I'm not at my usual top billing
I'm coming down with a fever
I'm really out to sea
This kettle is boiling over
I think I'm a banana tree
Oh dear, I'm going slightly mad
I'm going slightly mad
It finally happened, happened...”
~Queen, I'm Going Slightly Mad
Share with me!
How is writing a risk for you? Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing? Though writing is fun, does it make you feel slightly mad? Do you think it’s silly to have a desktop computer and a laptop?