Racing Like a Snail

Today, I’d like to talk about a little snail named Turbo. (And yes, if this is sounding familiar, then it probably is. I am referring, of course, to the Dreamworks movie, Turbo, which released this summer. I apologize in advance for any spoilers I am about to give, but pintipsince this is a kids’ movie, I hope you’ll forgive me.)

Turbo is a snail who dreams of speed. In fact, his dearest wish is to race in the Indy 500, as crazy as that sounds. But it’s not so impossible, after all. Turbo gets into the engine of a drag racer, and his body is infused with nitrous oxide. Presto! All of a sudden, he’s super-duper “turbo” fast. Blue-streak lightning fast. Upwards of 200mph, qualifying for the Indy-500 fast. Just as he is about to win the race, however, his powers desert him, and he must inch his way to the finish line with his own snail-intrinsic abilities.

My son LOVED this movie. And I loved it, too, but for different reasons. It was cute to see a character yearn for something for which he is so absolutely unqualified. Exciting to witness his transformation with the receipt of his super powers. And satisfying to know that it was the abilities he had all along that allowed him to prevail.

Sometimes, in this high-speed world of publishing, it can be easy to feel like a snail. An ordinary, garden-variety writer, Theo, wanting desperately to succeed as big bad author, Turbo. Super powers, in the form of a 200 mph contract or a coveted award or mega sales, seem to be all we need in order to succeed.

Unfortunately, we’re not cartoon snails in a movie, so we can’t expect these powers to appear magically in our laps. So what, then, is a writer to do?

Believe in our own intrinsic abilities, of course! Inch, after slow painstaking inch, word after slow painstaking word…and maybe one day, we, too, will realize we never needed those super powers, after all.

Or so we can dream. Right?

Have you seen Turbo? Thoughts? If not, what movies have you seen lately that have inspired you?