Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fireworks and Writing--Don't Focus on the Debris

I've talked about my city's fireworks on my blog before because every year is extremely exciting.  You see, no matter how much those in charge move the barriers back (and it seems like it's only a foot a year, not very much) the public who comes to watch is usually pelted with fireworks debris.  One year a tree caught on fire.  Another year rockets were actually fired into the crowd.  Sprinklers have gone on in the middle of the show.  I can't miss our city's fireworks because, well, it's more than a fireworks show. It's got an impact. Some of our funniest family memories have been at our city's fireworks.

This year we brought my son's soon to be in-laws.  We set up in our normal seats, about in the middle of the field.  We had warned our guests about the uniqueness of our city's show, but I don't think they believed us.

And then the fireworks began.

I always sit in a chair so I'm a smaller object to hit.  And I can hunker under a jacket or some other protection. Our guests laid out on the blanket, but soon huddled together when the debris started to rain down on us.  Some of them are still hot and can sting!

Here's a picture of the debris that hit me

Yes I keep little samples every year for our scrapbook. Don't judge! Sometimes we even compare to see who got hit by the largest one.  (Don't worry, one person is always assigned to protect my little ones.)

But what does this have to do with writing, you ask?  Well, the writing profession can sometimes feel like fireworks. I don't know about you, but whenever I score a great review or when I finish a novel or when I get fan mail, it's like firewoks. It makes me happy. But then there's times when it feels like burning debris is hitting you from every side when the critiques, bad reviews, and mean mail comes along.

I know it's going to come, just like I know I will be pelted at my city's fireworks.  I just need to make sure I'm prepared as well as I can be.  My protection from the debris of the writing profession is in the good reviews I've printed out, my critique group and beta readers who assure me my writing isn't crap, and in the joy I feel just writing and sharing my stories.  Also, a large chocolate bar is helpful on the really bad days. LOL

So, today, while I'm in the middle of some really wonderful/horrible things pertaining to writing, I want to make a commitment to concentrate more on the fireworks than on the debris.

Can you see them bursting in air? The pretty swirly ones? Yeah, let's focus on that.


Jon Spell said...

I can't believe you continue to go, after all the mishaps. The nice thing about fireworks is that you CAN enjoy them from a distance.

Just like with writing. Sometimes you need to step back a ways to see how much you've accomplished and developed as a writer. And sometimes, you just need to blow stuff up with an XRT.

Debra Erfert said...

Hahaha! Jon, you slay me. I can totally relate to blowing things up. I've shot a fully automatic machine gun on multiple occasions, and felt the invincible power you're speaking of. When I get a bad review, I'll just "mentally' shoot them down!

Our city doesn't have the budget for fireworks, and private fireworks are illegal in Arizona. Too many wildfires. My son's loved going up to Flagstaff to watch their annual fireworks display, up until they had to quit with it got too dry and the fire hazard got too great. Sigh… Once, we were taking a boat across the San Diego Bay on the 4th, just at sunset, and both sides of the bay shot off fireworks, and the boat captain played "Proud to Be An American" by Lee Greenwood. It was one of the most beautiful 4th of July displays I've ever seen!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

But that's where the fun is, Jon! Haha. And I agree, sometimes you just have to blow stuff up. :)

Debra, I hope you don't get any bad reviews, your book is awesome! And the San Diego Bay experience sounds awesome! Very patriotic. :)