I stood at the edge of the diving board, the hot Central California Valley sun nuking my brain. Drops of water skid down every inch of me. I bounced a little on the sturdy board; it would hold and balance me for as long as I wanted to stand there. “Jump,” you shouted to me. I put my arms up the way I’ve seen it done in commercials and bounced a little again. The last time I went diving it was in the 6th grade and we were doing it from the edge of the pool. The unbearable sun pushed me off the diving board and with a feeble jump and inhalation I jumped headfirst into the pool. Bellyflop.
Writing and diving evoke the exact same sensation from me: excitement and fear of failure. Thinking about starting to write is like staring at my toes a few feet about the water, looking behind me to find the exit off this horrible board, forgetting that I was the one to giggle, run around the pool, dance onto the diving board and say, “I’d gonna do it!” Bellyflopping is worse than failing at writing and it’s not that bad.
The sound of the water smack me was so loud that I laughed. Underwater. My head bobbed up out of the water and my aching stomach vibrated as laughter overcame me. “That was fun!” I ran right back on the diving board and jumped in, feet first this time.
Failure could be pretty fun and funny, I need to remember that.