I’ve always been a big fan of rollercoasters. Well, that’s not entirely true. When I was little, under 10, I hated them. They seemed impossibly big, and horrifically scary, and DEFINITELY too noisy for me to even consider riding.
Then my step sister, older than me by 2 years, convinced me. All the big kids were going on them, and the one she decided I should go on was a tiny little wooden roller coaster: The Rattler. This was about a year before they changed the first drop to be shorter, to boot. I almost chickened out at the turnstile, but with her and our dad egging me on, I got on. There was nothing more than an all too fragile looking lap bar to hold you in the train. I would have preferred a seat belt, at least, or a harness, or a straight jacket, something that would have felt like it meant to actually keep me in the ride.
The lift hill felt like it went on for about 30 minutes. It didn’t, not really, but I began to wonder half way up if they were going to have to scrape me up from the asphalt on the paths beneath. When the train reached the top of the hill, it hung there, for a moment. Stupid me had been conned into sitting in the front row. We hovered there, hanging over the edge, waiting for the rest of the train to catch up with us enough for gravity to remember to work again, before plunging down.
The rest of the ride went by in a blur of wood and screeching metal as the metal wheels skipped along the metal rails. At one point, it goes around and around and around, and I swear, I thought we were going to be stuck in that circle of hell FOREVER.
Finally, the train lumbered to a stop, slamming us against the lap bars. They looked at me, and my dad asked “So?”
“I WANT TO GO AGAIN!!”
I had survived. My stomach was left somewhere at the top of the lift hill, my hair had whipped so hard against my face I felt like I’d been smacked, and I was so dizzy I could have thrown up. But I was hooked.
After that, I tried every coaster in the park. I went on vacation to visit relatives, and made a lovely uncle go on every roller coaster we could find; Even the ones that meant we had to wait in line for 4 hours while the rest of the family wandered to every other ride in the park. I once went on all 13 roller coasters they had at Cedar Pointe in one day (Oh the headache I had afterwards. Word of advice: If you try it, skip the Corkscrew. Worst jerky rollercoaster I’ve EVER ridden).
Sharing my writing is like that, for me. Every time (except when I’m sending it to my crit partner, of course. She’s at least beat that out of my head over the years), there’s that moment before I hit send, where part of me feels “This is a horrible idea”. Yet I do it anyway. I send it out, and hang on.
Is writing a roller coaster for you? Do you throw your hands up in the air and enjoy the ride, or cling on for dear life?