On March 17th, the highly tuned whine of Formula 1 engines will reverberate through the crowded streets of Melbourne, Australia. For those of you who, like me, are great race fans it is a day we have all been waiting for, as ardently as a lover, since the end of the 2012 season. Racing is a tumultuous, passionate sport, filled with danger, explosive personalities, and cars that are mini rockets waiting impatiently to be launched. There is rarely a dull moment, on or off the track, a fact that some fans embrace, and some despise. Drivers mix with real racers, racers mix with each other, some love each other some won't be in the same room together, wheels touch, tempers spark, it's a constantly unfolding drama, whose likes any writer would give their eye teeth to be able to capture within the pages of their books.
With the impending commencement of the 2013 season, I find my passion being flamed, for racing and writing. I feel the reinvigorated, as if by the first unveiling of the new cars, my heart and soul has been awakened from its grumbling hibernation. Last year, I cheered for Alonso primarily, being half Maltese I feel a tie to Ferrari that anyone who is even remotely close to Italy would feel. I also, if Alonso was not in the running, cheered for Raikkonen. This year things have changed, Raikkonen takes first place in my heart, although Alonso and Ferrari remain a very close second. The fact that the two of them may very well be pitted against each other for the championship remains a bridge I will cross when I get to it.
As for how this all relates to writing, well the parallels I could draw between the two seem both vast and minuscule at once. The passion, the drive, the desire, these are things both embrace and embody. The danger of course is different. While my drivers put their lives and their team's liveliness on the line, I put only my heart and soul, which may seem like nothing to some, but everything to others. What racing and writing have most in common though, is the relationships between those involved. The competition between writers, for publishers, marketing space, and most of all readers, is as dramatic and hot tempered as any Formula 1 driver could even begin to imagine. I have seen writers sabotage each other in the same manner one might steal designs or telemetry from a successful car. On the flip side, however, I have also seen writers, encourage, support, guide, and help each other beyond what could ever be repaid. I have been blessed to have taken part in both types of relationships, and I say blessed because I have learned as much from the difficult ones as the successful, much like a driver learns as much from a race he does poorly in as the race he wins. Most of all, however, I have learned that the legendary Dale Earnhardt was correct when he said "Rubbing is Racing", for be it in Formula 1 or in the literary world, a little rubbing, a little competition, is part of the game and at the end of the day your talents are honed by it, you are better for it. Rubbing is racing indeed.