Patrick Mahomes is a genius. Of this, I’m convinced. Watching him play is like watching a great artist. What he creates is breathtaking.
I grew up watching football, and it’s my second-favorite sport to watch (after baseball), but I’ve never been a die-hard sports fan. I always watch the Super Bowl, and since my husband is a huge fan, I watch it more now than I have at other times in my life.
And since John is a lifelong Chiefs fan, I watch Mahomes a lot. And he fascinates me.
I can see him working out puzzles in real time on the field. I’ve seen great players over the years, but watching him is different. He has a beautiful mind, and I love seeing it in action.
He reminds me somewhat of great writers who write into the dark (like our own Dean Wesley Smith). If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means, in its simplest terms, that you write without an outline. You sit down, start writing, and go where the story takes you.
This takes skill, of course. You need to have the fundamentals in place and some great storytelling talent to write this way.
Just like Mahomes. Talent: check. Fundamentals: check. And then he goes out there each play and sees where the game (or the story) takes him. And he trusts that he’ll get somewhere good.
Sometimes, it doesn’t work out, of course. But he regroups and gets back to the process. Trusting himself and his ability to move the story forward.
Just like a great writer.
I spent the past week surrounded by great writers…and up-and-coming writers, and aspiring writers…at the Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs, and I flew home on Super Bowl Sunday, so perhaps that’s what caused me to make the connection.
I also watched writer after writer thank Dean for his seminars on writing into the dark. It freed them. In one case, the writer said that it saved her career.
If you’re a writer, and this resonates with you, I’d highly recommend checking out Dean’s Teachable workshops on the subject. You can find them, and hundreds of other writing workshops, here.
Now that the Super Bowl is over, I won’t be able to watch Mahomes’ artistry again for a while. But at least I have plenty of other genius storytelling to experience in the meantime.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.