What I Learned About Writing Emotion: A Tale of One Detroit Lions Fan
See. I’ve been a Detroit Lions fan since I was little girl. I started watching pro football in high school and loved it. However, it’s been an emotional ride to say the least… The following is a story about what I’ve learned by being a loyal Lions fan all these years. I’ll also explain how it helps me with my writing, too.
I’ll use this past Sunday as an example.
My hubs and I were sitting quietly (well except if there was a blown call, or holding) on our prospective couches, doggies at our feet. The hum of both our laptops could barely be heard over the Bears fans screaming in the stands on tv.
It’s toward the end of the game. The Lions are trailing 14 to 19 to the Bears. It’s the last minute and thirty seconds or so, we’ve lost our starting quaterback to a shoulder injury (thank you, Julius Peppers). My heart’s pounding as our star receiver, Calvin Johnson starts running, running… My chest feels like a ton of boulders rolling down a mountain, I rise out of my chair, fists toward the sky… Johnson jumps up, and catches the ball, two feet down, handles it all the way to the ground, then releases it….
Screaming commences by both of us. I’m jumping up and down like a deranged monkey. Doggies are freaking out ’cause of the screaming, so they jump up on me and scratch the crap outta my arms…
Wait. What? “They’re *bleepin* reviewing it– that ref says it’s not a catch,” I say to him as if he didn’t see the screen, or hear the inept announcers tell us for the fourth time.
“What! The process?” I add. Hubs is very aware. Yet I feel the need to say it outloud in between a few swear words.
Heart is still pounding, fists are now tighter, room is quiet, doggies have laid down.
The ref comes back. It’s not a catch. Heart gets ripped, swear words fly, stomping resumes, but not light and happy like before… breathing speeds up. Where is that ref? Goes through my head. I’m gonna find him and… Doggies snarling at each other thinking something is wrong. Hubs and I snarling at each other, because it’s such a familiar feeling to lose.
Lions lose, but they shouldn’t have, cause the call was crap. Wanna see it happen? Check it out Here
So. What did this teach me about writing?
1. Never give up.
Lions fans (I believe) are the most loyal in America, well except for Raiders maybe. The 2008 Detroit Lions
are the only team in NFL history to lose all 16 regular-season games. They have the 2nd longest losing streak in all NFL history. Yes, we are a loyal breed. I stick with them. I know they will be great someday. As writers, we will face challenges like the losing streaks (rejections) and blown calls (mis-steps) but we will keep writing. Why? Because that’s what we love to do ;o)
2. Emotion in its most natural state shows me the type of person I am. It helps me make my emotional scenes more real. Many emotional moments can do this. But when I’m invested in a team, like the Lions. I take the losses personally. I’m with them the whole game. When we lose, it affects me. I may not know what it’s like on the field, but I sure as hell know the feeling of loss after all these years.
3. I knew how Calvin Johnson would react to the call. He smiled. He laughed because he knew how rediculous it was. The coach? Schwartz, being the stand-up guy he is, backed up the call the ref’s made, because that’s what the stand-up guys do. I know what my characters’ reactions will be before they make them. This is what matters. It’s not fake.
What have you learned from emotional moments in your life? Any of you football fans?
Stay tuned for the 200 followers contest. I’ve bought some fun stuff for it!! Have a wonderful week ;o)