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What I Learned About Writing Emotion: A Tale of One Detroit Lions Fan

Hi Everyone!

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)

Er

17 Responses to β€œWhat I Learned About Writing Emotion: A Tale of One Detroit Lions Fan”

  1. You’re right – the call was crap and your team got screwed. I like what you turned it into, though. πŸ™‚

  2. Y;’all got screwed. Plain and simple.

  3. Diane says:

    My husband is a Raiders fan of all things. After yesterday, he’s already written them off for the season. I try to encourage him and say, “they’ll be number one…… for the draft pick…. :O) I try.

  4. My dad was a HUGE Lions fan – he would not be impressed with the call either πŸ™‚

  5. Shannon – Thanks ;o) Best to think of good thoughts, being mad won’t help anyone ;o)

    Travis – Word, Travis. Thanks!

    Diane – Oh, man. If anyone knows how we feel it’s the Raiders fans. I feel for him too. Yep, I know that saying, first draft pick ;o) Thanks!

    Jemi – I bet not! Even non-Lions fans are up in arms about this one! Thanks ;o)

  6. I don’t really watch sports, but your analogy seemed brilliant to me. Loved how you said that emotion in its most natural state showed you who you are. It feels so true!

  7. Great post! Way to tie the two together.

    Yeah, Detroit was robbed…

  8. Well, I don’t even watch football, but the way you described watching it, almost makes me want to. Love your emotion! And great way to put it to use.
    Very sorry for your loss.

  9. Awesome. I don’t care for football, but this is a great post!

  10. Carol – Thank you! Nothing brings out the emotion in me like my team ;o)

    Mel – Thank you! Oh yes. They were! Until next week!

    Terry – Thank you! You should watch! So much fun ;o)

    Janna – Thank you! I was hoping this post would make it more accessible to non-football watchers too ;o)

  11. C R Ward says:

    It doesn’t matters how great the lesson learned is, it’ll never be enough to turn me into a sports fan! πŸ™‚

    Seriously though, this is a great post, Erica. And I love the way you tied your lessons in with something else you love.

  12. I think the best emotions are when they come out hot and just a little bit sharp and pointy. πŸ™‚

  13. Angela – So true and what a great description ;o)

  14. elleadit says:

    This is a great post! I live in Georgia and am surrounded by college football fanatics (go Dawgs!), but I’ve never thought about how open they are with their emotions during games and how to relate it to writing. Very interesting!

  15. I can completely relate to this because I get like that when I watch basketball.

    This week I’m going to post about 2 teens who had to speak about the work they had to do to test for their black belts. It reminded me of the dedication we need for keep writing.

  16. Elleadit – Thank you! Oh I love college ball too ;o)

    Theresa – Ah, yeah it’s universal through sports eh? Sounds cool! Thank you ;o)

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