Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for July 20th, 2010

Persistence Pays Off — How Writing Compares to Brewers Pitcher Chris Capuano

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Talking about persistence — the refusal to give up and give in — may seem like an odd topic for a writer’s blog.  Especially when compared to Milwaukee Brewers left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano’s personal experiences — that is, if you don’t know anything about Capuano, who came back from a second “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery on his pitching arm and fought his way up to the major league level earlier this year.

But the two things have more in common than it might appear at first, because we writers need to refuse to give in to the small voice inside us that says, “You’ll never sell another thing.  No one will ever read what you’re writing, so why bother?”  And Chris Capuano needed to say to his small voice, “You know what?  I don’t care how long I’ve been injured.  I don’t care what you, small voice, are saying, because you are wrong  — I’ll make it back to the big leagues, and I will win.”

Tonight Chris Capuano won for the first time in three-plus years.  He did it because he overcame adversity and made his way back to the bigs, and then by refusing to give up on himself as he was only given one start back in June, then placed in the bullpen, seemingly to languish.  But Capuano didn’t take no for an answer — in fact, he seemed pleased to be back in the majors, and was not worried by the length of time his comeback was taking.

We all could learn a great lesson from Chris Capuano.  And that lesson is, persistence pays off.  We just need to keep trying, because if we can just keep working away at our writing, slowly but surely, and trust enough in ourselves to know that it will matter in the end.

Here’s the story of tonight’s win:

http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100719&content_id=12403076&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil

And here’s a relevant (albeit lengthy) quote from that article, including some words from the hero of the day, Chris Capuano:

Starting in place of the injured Doug Davis, Capuano (1-1) notched his first win in the big leagues since he beat the Nationals at Miller Park on May 7, 2007. He would spend all of 2008 and 2009 recovering from his second career Tommy John surgery, a grueling elbow procedure from which some pitchers never return.

But there he was in the box score with a “W” next to his name for the first time since Ned Yost was the Brewers’ manager and Monday’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, was a Draft hopeful at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Now 31 and married to his college sweetheart, Sarah, who was in the seats Monday night, Capuano allowed three hits over five innings. He struck out four and issued one walk, which led to Pittsburgh’s lone run.

“The winning and losing part of it becomes a lot less important when you’re faced with, ‘Am I going to be able to play again?'” Capuano said. “Going through a time like that, where you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to make it back, it really puts the bad stuff in perspective.

“So, coming into this year, I wasn’t really thinking about [the winless drought]. But tonight, pitching in the game and then coming out [to] watch the rest of the game, I surprised myself how much I was aware of it, how anxious I felt. And how good it felt for the team to get that win.”

We, as writers, need to believe in ourselves.  And remember that no matter how long it takes, the only one who can take you out of the game is you.

Believe in yourself.  Be like Chris Capuano.  And live to write another day.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 20, 2010 at 4:40 am