The Problem with Winning.

I have spent the last two days watching softball games. My oldest daughter and her team made their tournament debut at the Junior Olympic Classic softball tournament yesterday. They took first for the youth 10 division. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of those little girls. Not only did they win, they slaughtered the competition! Our three games were 15-1, 15-0, and 11-6 (that one was a bit of a nail biter!) I was worried someone might call the cops! Way to go Wildcats! You little ladies rock!

Tonight I sat on the bleachers and watched our first regular season game. I couldn’t help but wonder Where is that kickass team from yesterday? We won the game, but it’s amazing that we did. The team we played was so far behind the level of achievement that we have reached, yet it wasn’t that easy of a game for us. Even our strongest players were striking out on pitches they shouldn’t have even swung at, and standing by as good pitches sailed past them without even trying. Were they tired out from yesterday? The coach assured me that it was a post-win slump, we will do better next week, and he’s probably right. But that got me to thinking about writing and how this same thing applies.

For every great story I write for Ad Naseam, I write one that is just a little less, well, great. Am I getting lazy? Do I think I don’t need to try as hard? Maybe so, but I always step it up on the one after that, and so it goes on. I think this is why so many authors smash into the business with a stunning debut, yet pull back a bit on the sophomore effort. I hope that since I recognize the tendency, I will find some way to break it. Sure, slumps happen, but that doesn’t mean that they have to! I am not working my ass off on this anthology, just to fade into mediocrity when I work on the next book. I refuse. In fact, just the thought scares the hell out of me.

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