Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Penalty! Interference or the Impeding of a Writer by Diana Flegal

We have already established through previous blog posts of mine, that I am an avid football fan. Of the Pittsburgh Steelers in particularly. (Please do not hold that against me, I am a nice and courteous opponent.)
In Sunday’s game this week, we had a 15 yard penalty called against us. I became frustrated. The penalty was impediment. Seriously? The receiver caught the ball. Sheesh.
But, I must be reasonable. The last two years the NFL has implemented new penalties in the hope of protecting players from injury. Apparently this is one of them.

Here is how it reads in the 2015 NFL Rulebook:

Rule 10   Opportunity to Catch a Kick, Fair Catch
Section 1 Opportunity to Catch a Kick / Interference

During  a  scrimmage  kick that  crosses  the  line  of  scrimmage,  or  during  a  free  kick (punt),  members  of the kicking team are prohibited from interfering with any receiver making an attempt to catch the airborne kick,  or  from  obstructing  or  hindering  his  path  to  the airborne  kick,  and  regardless  of  whether  any  signal was given.
Item 1:   Contact with Receiver.

It is interference if a player of the kicking team contacts the receiver, or causes a passive player of either team to contact the receiver, before or simultaneous to his touching the ball.
Item 2:   Right of Way.

A receiver who is moving toward a kicked ball that is in flight has the right of way. If opponents obstruct his path to the ball, or cause a passive player of either team to obstruct his path, it  is  interference,  even  if  there  is  no  contact,  or  if  he  catches  the  ball  in  spite  of  the interference,  and regardless of whether any signal was given.
We (The Steelers) were guilty of Item 2. Which got me to thinking about my clients, and writers in general. (Of course it did- that is all I think about. #ineedalife)
What impedes or obstructs the path of a writer?

Is it direct contact: a rejection from the literary agent you submitted to, a face to face meeting with an editor that results in- nothing, or criticism from a crtique? Or is it indirect interference; self sabotage, poor health, or growing weary that blocks us, even though we might have gainded some success?
Learning any craft is strenuous and takes time. When we grow impatient, we will not ‘receive’ the rewards of our hard work. We will fail to reach our goals (cross the goal line), and fail to score a win.

Take some time to examine what is impeding your success and keeping you from reaching your goals. The New Year is around the corner, and as writers and literary agents, we can reassess our game plan.



Anonymous said...

Hi Diana, as always, your professional advice is insightful. But all these calls against the Steelers? I used to know the game but now the NFL changes the rules more often than designers change women's hem lines and I'm . . . okay, sorry, but man, when you don't know the rules, following the game isn't as enjoyable as it once was.

Max Lewis

Diana Flegal said...

You got that right Max. :-) Thanks for being a faithful blog reader!