Jack Kerouac’s Spring Training
What’s the best training to be a writer?
Part of the answer might be revealed in this Chip McGrath article which details the youthful creations of one of the most energetic of writers, Jack Kerouac, author of On The Road.
Turns out Kerouac spent much of his youth creating imaginary baseball games. It was not a casual thing – he constructed teams, composed letters from owners, wrote make-believe newspaper stories, and kept track of games using a toothpick and marble in place of bat and ball. (See this slide show for samples.) It’s a strikingly Bronte-esque example of creating and documenting fantasy worlds – and seems to have been fueled a similar family tragedy, the death of Kerouac’s brother.
I was never in Kerouac’s league, but I did have an obsessive habit of detailing backyard Nerf football games through made-up teams, logos, statistics, standings, and end-of-season awards. So now I wonder: did that help me grow the circuits I’m using right now? Maybe so – though I’m positive I never had a player with as cool a name as Warby Pepper.