Debut Author Picking Up Speed

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books

I went skiing for the first time this weekend.  Once, twenty years ago, I slapped on a set of skis (without any instruction) and slid down a big hill on my butt, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as experience.

I started off the weekend taking a two hour private lesson with the hubby.  Our instructor–aka Big Jim–was a sweet and easy going teacher.  Then he asked me to put on the skis and move forward down this giant hill gentle slope so we could take the little lift up.  My first thought was–he must be joking.  Why was he overestimating my ability to 1) stay upright while moving in a downward direction and 2) stop once I started.  But I figured if this guy was willing to play a human game of bowling with all those people at the bottom of the incline, I was brave enough to see how many I could knock down.
Obviously, Big Jim could smell talent.  Because once I got my snow legs under me, I was pretty good for a newbie LOL!  With a little instruction, some dancer’s balance and my runners legs, it wasn’t long before I was kicking fluffy butt on the bunny slopes.  But, it was very interesting to me to realize that I could have good balance and strong legs, but I still needed to understand those key pieces of instruction to make me comfortable on the slopes.  All the little tidbits were helpful, but there was one in particular that really stuck with me and I think it translates very well to real life…
*The best way to slow down or stop yourself when you’re going too fast, is to gently turn and go back uphill.

I know this sounds like the most obvious piece of information EVER–kind of like–if you fall down, the best way to get up is to stand on your feet, but I swear it hadn’t occurred to me.  In my mind, the whole point of skiing is to go DOWN THE HILL and the best way to slow down is to hit the brakes and snow plow.  And of course–if that doesn’t work–fall down.  

But, seriously, shouldn’t it be obvious that reversing direction slows that trajectory?  

My mind kept returning to the simplicity of the concept.  When life is moving too fast.  When things are out of control–slow down and turn around.  Go back to the place and the speed where you feel comfortable.

Wait for it…you know it’s coming…

In my mind, being a debut author is an exhilarating, once in a lifetime, wind-in-your hair kind of journey and sometimes–without warning–you find yourself traveling downhill way too fast.  I’ve seen people throw on their snow plows while leaving a smoke trail behind.  They rapidly burn through all the energy that they have.  I’ve seen people crash when they couldn’t put the breaks on fast enough.  I’ve felt myself have those moments where things begin to happen way too quickly and in a panic, I make a not so advantageous snap decision. And then I’m kicking myself afterwards.

I think that from now on, I’m going to try to remember what I learned on the slopes.  I don’t need to panic, I just need to make a gentle turn and head up hill until I’m moving slow enough that I can make a thoughtful decision about where to point my skis next.  I need to use my environment and my skills to my best advantage.  There is nothing wrong with setting your own pace and being comfortable.  It’s a lot more fun to make it down the hill dry and on your skis than it is to roll down on your face–cold and wet–too afraid to ever try it again.  :o)

So, have you ever been skiing?  Best tip?  Funniest story?  Biggest fear?  

Tags: , , , , , ,


2 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I went snowboarding once. The lift up the slope was the kind you straddle and it pulls you up with your board on the snow. I was going up with my friend, and just after we'd passed the first rise and were out of sight of our group bellow, our snowboards collided and we got thrown off the lift, and out boards got stuck on the other side, so that we were dragged up the mountain on our stomachs until we could get our boards loose. It was hilarious and terrifying at once. :]

  2. OMG!!!! Sounds like something that would absolutely happen to me!!! :o)

Leave a Reply

By submitting this comment you consent to your contact details being stored in accordance with this website's Privacy Policy.

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12