Thursday, March 06, 2008

Writing is like Golf

Writing is like golf, in particular, a duffer golfer like myself. Though I don't play the game anymore, I still dream of the day when time and finances allow me to pay $50 to walk in the park with a bunch of metal rods to hit a small white ball. And hit it a lot.

In golf, your opponent, (so many of the how-to manuals assuage,) is yourself. You play against your skills, your mind, your self-confidence and eventually your self-esteem.

This is a lie.


True, all those factors come into play, but there is also the audience factor. When playing with friends, or strangers, there is always someone watching. If you really suck, there is a foursome behind you eager to encourage you to hurry your play. If you are a good player, there is always a small gallery happy to watch you miss that easy three-footer.

And then there is the skill of the golfer. You know what you're supposed to do: head down, eyes on the ball, don't break your wrists, or as Tommy Smothers puts it, "The 32 things you must remember at point of contact," yet your body doesn't want to comply.

Golf defies the laws of physics. In golf the very earth actually moves, sometime closer, so that you hit the turf way before the ball, or sometimes it dips and you hit the top of the ball. (Sometimes not at all if the beer cart makes too many trips around your foursome.) You curse and swear, throw your club to the ground and walk in slow circles murmuring new and creative uses of the language of your choice, as you watch your ball roll some four yards from your position, just enough to reach the down slope of the nearest hazard that was actually perpendicular to your position, but now has come into play, as your ball has now rolled into it.

Golf is a calming sport.

So why compare it to writing?

Because golf is also about dejection. Starting on the first tee, all smiles and cheer, the sun is rising and the dew is evaporating from the manicured lawn. Then you slice off the tee and everything goes downhill from there. Then, somewhere around the 15th hole when your just about ready to pack it up and walk to the clubhouse, you do it. Your drive hits the sweet spot, your chip shot stops inches from the hole, you pot the 30 foot putt, in short, you do everything right. It is the one-shot high that keeps you coming back to the stupid course time and time again.

This week, I got the one-shot high not once, but twice. After slogging through rejection after rejection, I got two stories accepted!

The first was "Avarice" for Darwin's Evolution's, and the next day for "Vigilant" for Afterburn SF.

Now, how cool is that?




At 10:09 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...




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