Friday, June 5, 2009

Trash Talk

I love sports -- playing, watching, discussing -- but I've never been much of a trash talker. It seems like anytime I get a little cocky, karma decides I need to be knocked down a peg and my team always loses. Even with pool (billiards). I learned to play in high school (side effect of a boarding school with little to do on the weekends) but I don't usually tell people that I know how to play. I don't say I'm bad, I just don't say anything and let my behind the back double rail combos speak for themselves. (I'm exaggerating a bit.)(sort of.) I always figure that if I start gloating, I'll immediately lose.

This doesn't mean I sit quietly if someone else trash talks me. Oh no. I'm quick to defend myself then. I remember walking around during the intermission of a Blackhawk v Red Wings game in Chicago, proudly wearing my Detroit jersey, and various people yelled at me as I walked through the concourse. Detroit had won the Stanley Cup the previous year (so this much have been '03) and I answered them all with a quick "whose got the Cup?" They all shut up after that.

I swear I'm going somewhere with all this.

The Red Wings just lost their second game in a row and now the Finals series is tied 2-2. (I'm writing this Thursday night.) I always post something about the games on Facebook, but I avoid any real back and forth. I'm just not that kind of person. I suppose it helps that my team has kicked some serious butt over the past eleven years, but I just don't get the people who feel the need to belittle their opponent to make themselves feel better. What's the point?

Well, I've discovered a need for trash talk.

My edits are moving along slower than I'd like. I'm averaging a chapter a day, and at this rate it'll take me an entire month to get through this draft. Unacceptable. I've bumped it to two chapters a day and now I'm past the halfway mark, which I'm happier with, but I can't tell you how many times I catch myself slacking off, checking things online and what not. Quitting Messenger seems to help (then I don't get email notifications) but I still check things too often.

Another thing I keep bumping up against is the writer mantra to let yourself write crap. I'm a firm believer in not editing yourself during the first draft, and I've even allowed myself to skip over sections on subsequent drafts. The problem is I'm at the end of the line -- it's finally time to fix those things that are only halfway there: finding the perfect word, capturing the mood in the exact same way I envision it, cutting out nonessential scenes. And this is where the trash talking comes in.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to berate myself to sit back down and not move until I figure out exactly what I'm trying to say. "It's now or never," I tell myself. "No one else is going to do this for you. If you have any hope of getting published you need to put in the work NOW." I'm not much of a trash talker, I know, but it seems to be effective. I'm not cutting myself any slack, and I can see a difference. I'm getting results. Seems trash talk might have it's place.

But I still won't tell you your team sucks.

(Even if they really do.)


Turkey Lurkey said...

Glad the editing is going along well. :) It'll feel so good to finally say 'Done!'

Melanie Avila said...

I hope so!!

Nadine said...

Nice! I think I need to start the trash talking for myself and kick my bootay into gear!

And - Go Wings! :)

EriCan said...

Awesome about the editing.

Yeah as a Lions and Michigan fan, trash talk is just what we do... As of late, I have been unable to do so, since both teams sucked the big one last year... I only do it with people who start it with me though... and it is very casual. I've heard it all though, especially by my MSU friends!

I'm on the first draft so I am trying to tell myself I can write like crap. I have to admit as a former Journalism major who edits everything... it is very hard. Glad to hear your doing well with your draft!

I really need to stop surfing the internet and just write. I need some of that trash talking, or a trash talking coach (maybe Ron will do it...LOL... okay no way) Well right now, I'm reading and researching, then I'm outlining, then I'm going back to the writing and make it count. I just need to get motivated and if trash talk does that, then I say Bring.It.On.

Enjoy your weekend :)

WendyCinNYC said...

A good friend of mine is a KU alum. I went to MU. There is some serious trash talking going on between us sometimes.

It works out because we actually like each other.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, let me know how it goes! Something tells me your trash talking will be as severe as mine, lol.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, it can be tough to let go and just let yourself write. If I caught myself spending more than a couple minutes thinking something over, I forced myself to just write a variation of whatever I wanted to say and move on. Sometimes I'll highlight it in yellow so I know I don't like it, but usually I remember.

Yes, the internet makes me waste so much time...

Good luck & have a great weekend!

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, I don't mind that kind of trash talk. It's the people who get into fights with strangers that boggle my mind...