Saturday, April 28, 2012

y is for yo-yo

As a child I never quite mastered the rhythm and tempo of the YO-YO. Getting the ups and downs of it defeated me every time. After a couple of clumsy passes, the poor thing invariably ended up dangling in mid-air or swinging listlessly back and forth.
To say that my writing life has had its ups and downs would be the understatement of the year. You probably know what I mean. You have a great idea for a story but it falls flat halfway through. You spend all week polishing a piece for your critique group only to be met with, "I like it BUT..." Or an agent requests a partial and your hopes soar...until the rejection letter arrives.

Up. Down. Up. Down.

There are several ways of approaching this problem. You can put your YO-YO away and forget about it. Quit this nonsense. Get yourself a pogo stick instead.

Or you can make excuses for it. The string is too long or too short. Your fingers are too long or too short. The Earth just wobbled on its axis. Whatever...

Or you can make up your mind to stick with it until you get it right. Work at it. Focus. Concentrate. Study. Practice. Before long you may find that your plot has taken an unexpected turn. A character starts acting up. A scene unfolds...and you're on your way again...

...until the next time you find yourself dangling helplessly over your keyboard.

Other than resorting to violence and substance do you handle your ups and downs?
"Writer's block:
when the voices in your head
stop talking to you."
Hopefully you cope with the ups and downs through ZEN meditation, the subject of my next and final 2012 A to Z post.


  1. Yoyos, life and writing...up and down, up and down.

  2. I never got the Yoyo skill either. Great comparison to the writing life.