Monday, September 28, 2015

Nine Ways Writing is Like Driving

I’m probably the only girl I know among my peers who loves driving. I LOVE DRIVING. I mean, it’s not the sort of thing I’d call a hobby, but hopping in the car brings me immense satisfaction. Say what you will about Americans and their cars, but the freedom of the road, the social contract you enter merely by sitting behind the wheel, the independence, the responsibility… It’s all so romantic.

As a matter of fact, while I was driving home from school the other day, I realized driving is kind of like writing. You have to take many of the same things into account when you’re behind the wheel and behind the computer screen. Check it out:

via giphy

It Takes Practice 

I’ve heard it takes about three years to become an average driver. Though you can learn the rules of the road and operate a car, a good portion of learning to drive is actually driving, and that takes time. Heck, I’m not even there yet.

Writing takes practice, too. Grains of genius will appear in your writing from the beginning, but plenty of practice hours of editing, and replenished perspectives will all play into your developing skills.

via giphy

You’re the Boss

The driver is the master of the car. I make sure that seat belts are buckled, devices are off, the street is clear before I proceed through the stop light, and much more. I am the boss, and that means it’s all on me.

When you’re writing, it’s all on you, too. Novels don’t just fall together. It’s your job to fill the plot holes, characterize your protagonists, visualize the setting, and improve the story. You’re the boss of your words.

via gurl

You Go Places

You get in the car to go somewhere: the store, school, the library, away. Cars transport us, and even if you don’t reach your planned destination you will certainly get somewhere you weren’t before.

Writing also helps you get somewhere, even if you don’t know where that is just yet. Maybe you plot out your goals point by point, or maybe you pants and only seek to accomplish a word count by the end of each day. Either way, writing has a destination, too.

via ctboom

You’re Not Alone

We share the road, because other people need to get places, too. I not only need to be mindful of how I’m responding to the cars around me, but how they are responding to me—they might not be paying attention, and I need to be extra attentive!

Likewise, we often write in community. We share our words all the time, and not only do you need to be mindful of what other people say to you, but also what you say to others, and how your words will affect them. A little kindness from a CP can go a long way.

via giphy

There Are Consequences

Here is a short list of things you should not do while driving: text, drink, smoke, eat, screw around, do make up, etcetera. You should maintain your car, stay focused, plan for bad weather. If you ignore such things you relinquish control of your driving abilities, putting yourself and others in danger. Driving is serious!

We don’t think about books with the same destructive magnitude as cars, but your words are powerful. If you treat important social issues flippantly, send a corrosive message, attack people, or even leave details out, you can do harm. You may not mean to, but you can. Pay attention to what you say and what you don’t, because we as writers can have a huge impact on people, sometimes permanently.

via wfmu

Patience is the Virtue

When driving, you gotta wait for other people and stop lights and buses and the radio and so many things. You have to learn to be patient in a situation—sometimes if you try to take things into your own hands it’s dangerous!

You gotta wait as a writer, too. For fresh editing eyes, feedback from CPs and betas, from agents, from publishing people, from everybody. You must wait for ALL THE THINGS, and sometimes that is all you can do about it.

via giphy

It’s So Fun!

My favorite part of my drive home is gravity. One moment it takes the gas pedal to move, but if you go to the top of the hill you glide all the way down and up again! I mean, you can’t do it during rush hour, but there are times. There are immensely enjoyable parts of driving.

Writing is also fun. You create worlds and characters and situations that are absurd and crazy and profound. You get to inflict pain and suffering, joy and laughter, all these great things! It’s a lot of work, but ultimately, we enjoy it because it’s worth it.

It’s Just How We Roll

via raydonovan

Go! Write! Drive! But not at the same time, people. These are some mutually exclusive events that should be going on, here.

Do you like writing and driving? (Again: Not at the same time…)


19 comments :

  1. I love writing.
    I love driving.
    I have yet to try both at the same time, but now that you mention it... :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! *high fives* I have not tried both at the same time either, but I don't think it would be a good idea.

      Delete
  2. I love this post!
    I'm currently learning how to drive, and so I currently /hate/ driving. I know, through practice, I will come to love it as I will have my turns perfected and no sidewalk will fear getting almost hit. (Dear Lord...)
    But anyway, you've made a really accurate comparison here. I didn't realize it myself, but it really does make sense if you think about it.
    Indeed, us writer are the drivers behind the wheel! We control what happens, unless we don't plan properly and then the wheel controls us xD (in which crashes occur, and projects are left unfinished)
    Well done! Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Driving can be hard to get the hang of, but I think in the end it's worth it. There's a lot of freedom that comes with driving, and I love it.

      And you're absolutely right—when we let the wheel take control it never goes well. Stay in control and you'll be good. Thanks for stopping by, Grace!

      Delete
  3. I get to start driving this winter and I'm super excited, and even more so now. You always have the strangest comparisons and it's awesome. xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I hope you have a ton of fun. And yes, I love comparisons. They're the best. :)

      Delete
  4. SOME OF THESE GIFS HAVE GIVEN ME ANXIETY THO. Omg. That one with the car falling off the cliff into smoke? OH PLS NO. hehe.
    Okay, so I LOVE this and I think it's totally spot on! Except for the part where I really like writing and not so much driving. Gah. Driving exhausts me. (Although writing exhausts me too. SO YEAH. COMPARISON.) I've been driving for nearly 6 years now and nopity nope I still would rather walk a million kilometres and wear out 9 pairs of shoes. (Which I don't. I just stay home. I like home.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you also have to be an ATTENTIVE driver, not just a capable one. XD

      I guess I have liked staying home, but there's something magical about leaving the house that makes me feel better too. I can definitely understand wanting to just stay home and write, though. (Although, in my case, I've lately been driving other places because my house is too distracting to write in.)

      Delete
  5. I love this post! These GIF's are hilarious!! It's so true, and it makes sense - although I still have one more year before I'll be behind the wheel! (Which scares my mom half to death already, LOL.) I love writing, and I'm not sure how I'll like driving... I'll either be a total wimp about it and be scared to press the gas... orrrr I'll absolutely love it like you do. Hoping for the latter. And obvs, never at the same time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow I actually said 'obvs.' That's a first. XD

      Delete
    2. Haha, driving with moms is a trip, literally and figuratively. XD I hope you do like driving and that you are both safe and capable on the roads, but even if you don't love it, it's a valuable skill to have! Thanks for commenting! :)

      Delete
  6. This is an interesting post! As someone who can't drive (anything but a scooter, and that has only been twice so far. I don't like going fast either. Our family doesn't own a car. We live in a forest) I can't relate to the driving side. I have been writing more recently, but I always have difficulty ending my short stories :( . Anyway, this (seemed to be) a good comparison. Not quite as good as the PMS one though tbh :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, maybe instead you should get those flying scooter things like in Star Wars Episode VI and drive like that instead! Or, y'know, not. Whatever. Anyway, it's okay if it isn't as powerful a comparison for you, and I know. Probably not going to get back to that quality of the PMS post any time soon. XD

      Delete
  7. What, no, I can totally type with one hand and steer with the other!
    Haha, I joke....

    This is a great post, and I'm impressed that you came up with so many comparisons. I actually really love driving too, especially when the weather is bad, because I like paying attention to all the details and the variables. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of texting and driving....

      Right? SOMEONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS! I just love your comment for that because it is perfect. XD Thanks for reading, Liz!

      Delete
  8. Oh my goodness, I love your gifs! XD I myself love driving, although I'm not very good at it yet. It is fun, although I know a lot of people who don't think so. Loved this post! Your comparisons were spot-on. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought they were pretty schnazzy. :D Driving is hard, but I think it's rewarding, and I'm glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by, Lily!

      Delete
  9. Haha, this is a comparison I would not have thought to make, but your comparisons are /perfect/. I don't actually drive yet (gonna get my learner's permit soon, though), so I don't know whether I'll enjoy it or not. To me, it looks rather terrifying, lol, but who knows? I might find it fun.
    And obviously, I love writing. It's basically all I do with my life.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Metaphor is amazing. :) It's definitely something that takes a lot of responsibility and practice, but I hope it's a more pleasurable experience for you than not. (And duh, writing is AWESOME. Like, how would we live without it?)

      Delete

Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!