I was away on a golf holiday for a week. I hadn’t played golf since the beginning of October and my golf game was rusty, to say the least. This reminded me of how practice is important. As I played golf, I began to see parallels between writing and golf.
Keep your eye on the ball. Do you tend to go from one genre to another, skip from one POV to another? It has taken me a long time before I finally decided that the kind of writing I want to do is crime writing. And I often find that in my writing I mingle my POV’s. As in golf, I need to keep focused. Not an easy thing to do. But neither golf nor writing are easy.
Don’t let a bad shot ruin your game. And did I ever have a lot of bad shots. I felt like a beginner. The feeling was similar to getting rejections. But you keep playing the game because you’re in it till the end. And you learn from your bad shots. You ask yourself: What did I do wrong? And you avoid that the next time. You keep trying until finally there it is. A perfect sentence!
Commit to the shot. Anyone who knows golf has heard this one. Once you’ve decided how to play a shot, play it that way. Don’t listen to what others tell you. Nor to that little voice that says I’ll write when I’m inspired. You commit to your schedule, whatever that may be. You write every day. Because you’re a writer.
It’s the setting of the game that without it there wouldn’t be a course. Settings are important.
When it’s breezy swing easy. If you play golf sooner or later you’re bound to hear this phrase. This basically means don’t swing hard on a windy day or else your ball will just balloon up in the air. When the writing’s windy maybe it’s time to try something else. Write a post on your blog. See what’s happening on twitter. Attend a conference. Read a book in your genre. Or take a walk. Accept that sometimes there may be alligators in your way.
While I was down South the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) were playing in Naples, Florida. Shanshan Feng, who won the tournament, said that she has a carefree attitude when she’s on tour. She’s simply enjoys the game. Another great golfer, Suzanne Petterson, (yes the beauty who posed nude) likes to take chances and gamble.
Now, that’s something to do. Not posing nude but I’m going to put in a bit of gambling in my writing, a bit of carefree attitude and see what happens. Otherwise, I’ll never know.
If you want to read more on how writing is a lot like golf you might enjoy this article by Braydon King: