Anyone who knows me would tell you, without hesitation, that I am a huge auto racing fan, with a particular passion for Formula 1. This weekend, after a summer break of several weeks, Formula 1 resumed racing, much to both my delight and dismay. My delight came from again being able to watch one of my favorite sports (the other being equestrian of course!) and dismay resulting from my driver crashing on the first lap. Well, you win some you lost some, as the saying goes. It occurred to me this morning, as I geared up to watch my race, that racing and writing actually have quite a bit in common, which would explain my passion for both of them, and may quite possibly give way to racing being a prominent part of one of my novels, much like my other passion, horses.
Racing is dramatic. The very essence of speed, passion, and pushing not only oneself, but an entire team to their limits, at every race gives way to breathtaking stories and cliff hanger moments. Couple that with a great magnitude of personalities and nationalities, travelling all over the world and you have plethora of stories within stories, weaving themselves intricately into a magnificent tapestry of a tale. Writing is like that as well, if the story is told well, which hopefully mine are. The characters are passionate, intricate individuals that struggle through challenges which push them, and their fellow characters to the limit. Each chapter, or scene, provides an opportunity to hook the reader more, bringing them further into the story, and investing them emotionally with the characters. The scenery, much like in Formula 1, provides not only the backdrop, but the feel of the book. The very essence of a nation is what gives each race its unique feel, while in a book the setting is the landscape the author envelops their characters in, creating a space for them to face, and overcome, the challenges that will shape their lives.
Racing also has a hurry up and wait quality to it which, at least for me, parallels writing. Racing teams hustle constantly to set up, prepare the car, practice, qualify, race, pack it all up again and head back to the shop. In between all of this is the pressure to get the car, and driver, where they need to be when they need to be there. More often than not, however, the car gets out to the grid or pit lane, and sits, waiting for the schedule to catch up or debris to be removed, or whatever. I am finding writing to be the same way, I work hard to keep up with my blogs, social media, the actual writing of the book itself, the editing, I feel a constant need to keep moving, propelling myself and my characters forward, while at the same time I often get to points, such as where I am now, where I wait. Currently I am waiting for my work to be revised by an editor, and waiting to see if my cover design will work. Work, strive, and wait. It is a fast, furious, slow, patient adventure to embark on, spanning the spectrum of emotions, just like racing. No wonder I love them both, where else would I get such a ride?