This weekend I thought I would surprise the kids by filling up a tub of water balloons for them to smash on each other’s heads in rapid succession. Could it get any better than that?
I tip-toed into the laundry room, giddy with purpose. “Be there in a minute,” I called, imagining the afternoon of water-fun bliss, and the “Rockin’ Awesome Mom Award” I was sure to receive by sundown.
An hour later, my giddiness had turned to pissed-off-ness (and, no award) — I had only filled a whopping thirty balloons. Other statistics included; ten in-face explosions, 500 balloon fragments strewn on the floor, and one neon green “ring” on my tying finger that wouldn’t come off (By the way, is it normal for a finger-tip to look purple?). It took over an hour to fill them: It took seventeen seconds to witness their demolition.
But, oh, that seventeen seconds was pure delight!
Writing is often like filling up water balloons; time-consuming, frustrating, painful and messy. At times, your stories will even blow up in your face. You may not get a green ring out of the deal, but if you write long-hand, you’re likely to have a red welt on your middle finger.
But, remember the “pure delight” part? You get that, too. Instead of balloons, we pick up our pens and keyboards and take aim to hit our victims, um, audience, with our best shot.
Think of your readers laughing out loud at the exact piece of dialogue you had chuckled over, or pausing in admiration at your painstakingly phrased metaphor. And, most importantly, think of them going on to the next sentence, paragraph, or page to read more.
Hours of work, for seconds of delight? It just might be worth it after all.