1 min read

Lessons from the Skate Park

Skaters spend most of their time failing.

I know this because I’ve been stalking a few of them during my lunch breaks at Tompkins Square Park, one of the loveliest spots in the East Village. Over and over again they try and fail, try and fail, taking their turns approaching, jumping, and sending their boards careening into the chainlink fence.

You’d think with all this failure there would be heckling, especially in such a public place, but you’d be wrong. Because aborted–or flat-out bungled–tricks are so common, everyone holds their tongue. But when someone lands a trick, they usually, not every time, but usually, earn a smattering of congrats or a fist bump from a fellow boarder.

This is precisely the kind of mentality Written Out Loud tries to emulate. Yes, we’re a writing camp, and no, we’re not usually shirtless with baggy jeans, but the essence is the same. When we introduce a character at the wrong time, misspell, or misdiagnose a story problem, it’s not a big deal. We’re working towards something together and we still haven’t found it, and that’s okay.

But when we nail a story, nail a character, nail that one perfect moment that we know is going to bring a tear to the eye, we’re nothing but supportive.

The skate park can teach us a lot. Maybe those dudes have it figured out.

Related Articles

Storyteller Spotlight: Easton Keats Fenster

The Peace Dragon

Finding Courage

When kids write, one of two things tends to happen: either they jump into it without thinking, finding immediate joy in expression–or they poke and...

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Log Out