It happens to the best of them. A team that was cruising along, almost ten games up on their division rival, playing the kind of baseball that seems almost magical, suddenly hits a skid.
And the San Francisco Giants have hit a major slump. They have lost six games in a row. And they’ve lost them in every fashion. Starting pitcher gives up a lot of runs. Offense can’t score. Despite a fine performance by the starter, the bullpen collapses in the late innings. Defensive mistakes. Anything that could go wrong, has.
It seems to happen this time of year. That’s why they call it the June Swoon. It’s happened in championship seasons and it’s happened when they finish last. It’s part of the great game of baseball. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
And it’s seriously crushing my muse.
I had planned on spending this month finishing book four in my More Than A Game series. But my editor has requested I re-work book three, and I’m not making as much progress as I’d like. I change something in chapter two and it comes back to bite me in chapter four. (Kind of like walking the leadoff hitter, he always seems to score during a losing streak).
Sometimes the writing flows like an eleven-game hitting streak. Words fall into place like sweet line drives. Dialogue is as snappy as a curveball when a pitcher is dealing. Scenes unfold flawlessly like a summer night at the ballpark.
But sometimes the writing is hard. Like baseball is hard. Every word seems forced, like the runner on a ball hit to second. I grind out sentences only to realize I’d already said that two paragraphs ago. Dialogue falls as flat as a breaking ball that doesn’t break.
The only thing to do is keep working. Keep showing up every day. One of those hard-hit balls is going to drop in for a hit. The pitcher who doesn’t have his best stuff can still get hitters out with determination and grit. The deep fly ball sails fair instead of foul, and just like that, the losing streak ends.
I’ll keep writing. Keep putting words to page. I’ll move forward on my manuscript, knowing it will only be that much better in the end. Just like a come-from-behind walk-off win is so much more satisfying.