My only sports as a kid were competitive swimming and running, so I know precious little about football. I do know that I love the Seahawks. I know that even though they lost the Superbowl last week, I’m still rooting for them, already looking forward to listening to Warren Moon and Steve Raible call games next year.
And I know a little something about yards after contact.
When players and coaches and fans talk about what makes Marshawn Lynch so special on the field, they always point to his yards after contact. His ability to take a hit or three or four or seven and keep running the ball forward is unmatched. His ability to keep running even while dragging a defender along behind him earned him the best nickname in the NFL. He has an incredible knack for advancing the ball–sometimes only a yard or two–despite the fact everybody is trying to drag him to the turf.
Yards after contact.
Writing is a lot like that. Sure, once in a while writing a story or revising a scene is like catching a sixty yard Russell Wilson pass in the end zone. But not very often. More often, it’s running the ball through the defensive line. It’s absorbing the contact, but still gaining yardage.
Sometimes it’s in the back field. Self doubt? Contact. Laziness? Contact.
Sometimes it’s on the goal line. Rejection? Contact. A bad review? Contact.
Contact is inevitable. But making yardage after wins games. And it gets books written. It gets writers published. It gets stories that need to be in the hands of readers into those hands.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go Beast Mode on the draft I’ve been working on.