Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hockey is to this Canadian as editing is to this writer

I've never liked hockey. (That may sound odd since I'm Canadian and that's our sport but it's true.)

The rest of my family feels differently. My Uncle B actually has seasons tickets to watch the Vancouver Canucks and (I think) everyone else in the family has watched a game from his amazing seats.

Last week at a family dinner to celebrate Mom and Grandpa's birthdays, my Uncle was trying to get rid of his tickets because him and my aunt weren't going to be able to make it. Everyone else was busy. My Grandparents were available but that meant there was one empty seat (there are three tickets).

Somehow despite countless, adamant, No's I got talked into going. I dragged my feet all the way to the Arena and into the VIP club section and down to the fourth row, just in front of the net (told you they were amazing).

The Detroit Red Wings and The Vancouver Canucks were on the ice, practicing.

I watched in awe at their effortless ability on skates.

(To understand my love of people on skates you need to know this: I used to figure skate (and I used to be so short that I totally pulled off the Munch-kin look from the Wizard of Oz) and I could watch figure skating for hours because I think it's the most gorgeous thing ever.)

I was already rethinking my opinion....during the practice. When the game started I felt myself sucked into the atmosphere, into the swelling and denouement's of the crowd. I'll be honest, I didn't always know what was happening - the great thing is, it didn't really seem to matter because I was watching and when I was confused I could lean over and ask my Grandparents to explain.

I could see the expressions on the players faces. I could feel (almost) the rattle of the plexiglass when the players were slammed into the sideboards.

My insides got all messed up when the Red Wings tied it and we went into overtime. When we lost during the shoot out, I was a little disappointed but not really because the game itself, the actual process, was so much more than I thought it would be. Watching a game in person is nothing like seeing it on TV. 

And, because I always tie these little stories into writing somehow, let me say this: I'm starting to edit my first draft this week and I am dragging my feet. I am dreading editing like I dreaded going to that game. Except a little worse because editing is a longer commitment.

My only hope is that once I actually start, when my characters pull me back into their world, that editing won't be as bad as I think it will be.

I may not 'win' the first time round but maybe I'll get a few good plays in.

Ever been dragged into something you thought you'd hate and have your mind changed? What part of the writing process to you dread?


  1. I'm sure you had a good time. Some of those hockey players are hot. Well, the ones with their teeth. I know I've been dragged to things I'd thought I would hate, but I can't think of any now.

  2. Sometimes housework is like this for me. It's not too bad doing laundry once I get started. But getting myself motivated, that's the trick.

  3. I wish we had a hocky team closer. I don't like driving into Washington DC. The last time I went was when they were playing Vancouver as a matter of fact. I was rooting for the Canucks (I have a soft spot for Western Canada though I've never been there).

    I don't know if this will help any, but I used to hate the idea of editing until I realized how to break it down into the right steps and the correct order so I could SEE it getting incrementally better each pass through! You're a smart cookie, you'll get it.

  4. Loved this! I'm a fan of hockey there is just something awesome about it... then again I'm a sports fan of anything as long as I can be around when the action is live (not on my television scree).

    Writing for me has ups and downs and all of them have highs and lows. Each process. For me revisions is something I both hate and love.

    However I'd say that the waiting is the worst. It sucks to hear what important people thing. The longer you have to wait the more your brain makes up stories (we are writers, we assume the editor has been taken hostage by an alien clan - which is so much better than them not having read it yet)...why make us wait? We become more insane.

  5. I'm a little jealous, but that's because the only time I watch hockey is when the RedWings are on (and there's nothing else to watch). It's a missing Michigan thing. :shrug:

    I guess if someone had told me years ago that I would spend countless hours crocheting, I would've laughed in their face. It's sounds so boring. But I do it and it's monotony is perfect for letting my mind wander. The part of the writing process I dread most is querying, but editing comes in at a close second. Good luck with your edits.

  6. Yep, I was totally not a hockey fan until I got dragged to a game in college. Watching it on TV is super boring, but being in the crowd (especially right up against the glass) is one of the most thrilling experiences ever! I hope editing sucks you in the same way!

  7. Let's just say this Floridian (okay, I've lived in NC for 6 yrs, but still...) almost left your place for good after you bad-mouthed hockey ;) lol. I used to be a fanatic! Haven't had as much time for it with kids and writing, but it'll always have my heart. I figure skated for years before trading up for hockey skates. And I never looked back!

    I have an award for you at my place :)

  8. I knew I had to read your post when I saw the title, since being a Canadian, I know all about this hockey thing.

    I used to love it, but haven't watched it in years.

    Great analogy to editing, because it's so like that. Once you get started it's hard to stop.

  9. OMG, you're Canadian? You are SO Robin!!

    Anyway, I hope your editing turns out like that too. I've been kind of stagnant on mine after the first week of diving into it. I need to carve out some editing time for myself- no excuses!

  10. There is a huge difference between seeing games live and seeing them on television (for all sports). The atmosphere does suck you in. :) Glad you had a great time.

    Good luck with the editing. :)

  11. Sounds like you had fun at the game, and your feelings about hockey mirror my own about American football. I can enjoy watching a game or two a year in a crowd of people, but I can't watch the games on tv. They just don't keep my interest. And editing . . . well, that's the one I dread too, and yet really it can be fun, when I get into it.

    By the way, I'm in the midst of writing my post today while living life, and when I finish, you'll find an award there for you.

  12. I'm not a huge hockey fan either, but after this post, I may just give it a shot!

    Yes, quite a few things. My friends always say actually getting me to do stuff is the hardest part and then after that I love it.

    The next on my list skiing, because I really don't think I'm going to like it, but everyone keeps telling me I will. I guess we'll see.

  13. AHHH!! I KNEW you were going to be turned around after seeing it LIVE! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE HOCKEY!!! (Redwings WOOT!) It makes my heart race, my excitement level skyrockets! HOCKEY!!! ehem Sorry.

    Oh wait. This had something to do with writing. Yes, editing isn't as bad as I always think it's going to be. So No fear! Dive in! Get to it!

  14. I love hockey! Love it. Especially playoffs. However, I'm a Calgary Flames fan.

    I've been dragged to musicals and found I actually liked them. Les Mis is my favorite.

    It's so true. We shouldn't hold back based on our own preconceived ideas. I'd probably never be a writer if I did.

  15. Another hockey convert! Yes, it's such a different feel in person. Awesome game.
    I dread writing the first draft. Takes me forever to get it down on paper! But the editing, it flows. I bet once you get started you'll enjoy it.

  16. This was me and (American) football. I had no interest in it whatsoever, and then freshman year of college, we got free season tickets for home games. On top of that, my university is super cool and has the student section right on the 50 yd line, first come first serve (basically PRIME seats). I went to the first game for kicks (everyone on my floor was going & it's free), and I was hooked. Now I actually ENJOY watching college football, but there's NOTHING like being in the stands in the student section. :)

  17. I dragged my feet to a New Year Eve's party once and it was so great we now go to the same place every year.
    I dread writing an outline or synopsis for submission purposes and the dread stays with me through the entire process.

  18. I'm like that about football, and actually attended my first game only a few months ago. But it was fun! I had no clue what anything was, but the energy in the stadium was contagious.

    Anyways, back to writing, I totally hate editing, too. Sometimes it's not so bad though once you get started. Good luck!

  19. Editing is awesome. Sometimes it makes me hate writing, but mostly I love it. I think that's where a lot of our "style" as writer's comes in and is made more evident. And once you're back in the groove with the people you love so much, that helps too.

    Also, when you think you're done, you only need a few more read-throughs.

  20. I'm like that with a lot of sports--I can't imagine I'm going to like watching, and then I'm screaming like a maniac with the rest of the crowd! It's so much fun to plunge into something.

    I'm dragging myself through revisions at the moment, but I must admit, that moment of sudden adoration hasn't come yet!

  21. Your analogy is so accurate. I hate revising until I begin revising. It's like going to the gym. Once I'm there, I like it. Getting there, I dread. Good luck, Melissa. You'll be a ninja-editor.

  22. I think there are a LOT of sports like that--games revolving around small objects in particular, where from a TV, you can't quite catch what's going on and it just is sort of boring, but you get to a stadium or arena... you get the smells, the adrenaline... you see the skill, and the nuances of how complicated it is...

    And I TOTALLY had to take a couple books to learn to sort of enjoy editing. I don't like all of it (at ALL) but there are moments where the passion strikes hard--where you hit a perfect fix... So I hear you...

    And I am totally going to send one of my writer friends over--she still actively coaches figure skating (in San Antonio).

  23. I'm also Canadian and feel the same way about Hockey. All the girls swoon after the players, too, but i just don't see what's so attractive about a bunch of angry, sweaty men with only half their teeth.
    I'd rather watch football, to be honest. :p

    The part of the writing process that I dread is writing the beginning. Planning is fun. There's no order, and no limitations. But as soon as I'm done that part and I need to start writing it all down, I freeze, and I procrastinate, and I just don't want to do it, and so to escape that, I plan something else instead. It's a terrible habit I'm gonna have to lose soon.

  24. My husband is originally from upstate New York and loves hockey. I'm not to fond of it, but the fights are entertaining. I love figure skating, though. I could watch that all day.

    My least favorite part of writing is editing, only because you've written the story and know how it ends. The creative process is over.

  25. Editing is not my favorite part of the writing process, but I don't hate it. I think what makes it not so bad is the end result. I'm always happier with my projects after the edits. Good luck with it!

  26. Ha! Love the analogy, because I feel the same way about hockey - until I see a game, and then I get sucked in, too.

  27. LOVE this post! I love to watch hockey (don't hate me, but I cheer for Calgary). You tied your experience to writing perfectly! :-)

  28. Hockey is so fun to watch! I'm glad you went. :) So hmmm . . . playing Batman Wii . . . that now sucks me in when I used to think "not so much."

    Oh, and for the record, I play with my kids! Really! Not just for myself. :)

  29. Hockey is one sport I HATE to watch on TV but LOVE to see in person.

    I bet you'll find that editing is much worse when you think about it and that it's actually fun to actually do it. It's where that story in your head, that kinda sucked when you put it on paper, gets alls purtied up and resembles the story in your head again.

    Good luck!


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