One thing I really like about children is how fundamentally decent they are, and how wise. When I told William a little while ago that I was feeling a little worried and a little bad about this literary prize my novel’s up for, he said, “You know mom, it doesn’t matter if you lose and it’s nice if you win.” And then, to buck me up, he shared one of his own writing submission stories: “I didn’t win that scary story contest at school, but I don’t care. I kind of suck at writing scary stories.” Well, I didn’t win that Fabri Prize, although I got a really lovely note from the people at Boaz Publishing saying some nice things about my book, which doesn’t actually suck, but maybe wasn’t just what they wanted.
This experience isn’t going to prevent me from writing stories and books and sending them out over and over again. It’s just one of many shots on goal. That’s something I learned from soccer, a game I do not play, but watch endlessly, and even, one night when I had absolutely nothing better to do, read an entire book about. In that book, I came across an astonishing and life-changing fact: for every goal that is scored, a player has to make ten shots on goal. I love that fact. If you keep kicking in the general direction of the goal, and pay attention to where your kicks go, and try to make them straighter, truer and stronger, you will eventually get the ball in the net. If you are a writer, you have to take hundreds of shots, but that is the only significant difference between you and David Beckham. Well, almost. And that, my friends, is the only sports metaphor you will probably ever hear from me.
Have a great weekend — and don’t forget to show me when and how you’re going to be planning your own shots on the goal.