Golf and Writing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADon’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.

Don’t forget to look at your surroundings.   I love golf courses. Wide open spaces. Lakes. Sometimes ocean views.  And animals roaming around.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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:

Follow A Common Theme

 I’ve been reading lots of blogs on how to make mine interesting. It’s mind boggling at how many are out there. Probably old news for you. But for me the neophyte I am, this learning of the ropes is an apocalyptic event.

Here’s a piece of advice I came across that I found useful. Maybe you will too. Your blog has to have a common theme from one post to the next so that you can build a community.

So, today while golfing with my brother and his two hotty boys

 I got to talking to them about my blog. I told them that I had put an Alice Cooper song on one of my posts (Don’t Bring Me Flowers).

“Alice Cooper’s a really good golfer,” my brother said.

 So there I had my common theme.  Alice Cooper.  Fiction writers will be interested in what he has to say about the differences between who he is (Vincent Damon Furnier) and his character Alice Cooper and how he manages to separate them.  Others may find the interview simply amusingly surprising.  It was for me and I hope you will find some inspiration in it, as I did.

Here’s “Alice Cooper Hates Golf”

 Furnier committed to Alice. You often hear of golfers say they’ve committed to their shot.  In that way it’s quite similar to  us writers committing to our work. In golf, commitment can mean follow through or do exactly as you did in your practice shot. In writing this can be transferred to mean go to the finish line or stay with it until you’ve got in words what you visualize in your mind.  

So that’s my golf lesson for today folks and I leave you with this