August 7, 2010
I don’t usually read the sports page of our daily paper, but occasionally something will grab my attention. The words, “fade, draw when you want to” were listed under a golfing photo. Curious, I read the article to learn what the terms meant. A fade is a shot that curves the ball slightly to the right and a draw does just the opposite, moves it to the left. OK, got it (except for knowing how to actually hit the ball to make it do that). Apparently there’s a science to all of this.
I’m not a golfer, although I did try it a couple of times many years ago at the prompting of my sister and brother-in-law. I couldn’t see the attraction of trying to hit this small ball and then searching for it after it landed.
But through my brief exposure I can see some analogies to my writing experience. Learning to hit the ball is like learning to write; it takes hours of practice, studying and applying proper techniques, lots of sending it out there into space, plus dealing with trees, sand traps, water holes, etc. (finding the right market, dealing with rejection letters, waiting, hoping, and maybe hearing nothing from your query letters.) All these obstacles can be discouraging.
The article I read this morning also talked about studying your divots to see which way you’re hitting the ball. All my divots told me was that I was missing the ball, a lot! Study those rejected pieces and comments made by editors or publishers to learn what you’re doing wrong, either in your writing or your research. Then try again, applying what you’ve learned.
Back to the terms fade and draw. The last two years I’ve been fading—that is, little or no writing. That’s one reason I attended Montrose Writers Conference again this year—to rejuvenate my desire to write or to try something new to spark my interest. That’s what this blog is about–to get me to put some things on paper and move me from fading to writing. I hope it works.
The last part of the article says, “It’s really a matter of physics.” No wonder I could never hit the ball! I never studied physics and I’m always amazed when my husband routinely applies what he learned in high school physics to some practical everyday problem. I don’t understand physics. But I am learning about the mechanics of good writing and I know combining that with lots of practice and discipline can lead to positive results. Just like learning to play or improve your golf game.
Who knew that writing and the game of golf had so much in common?