Monday, November 2, 2009

Writing a Book and Playing Golf Aren't So Different After All

One of the most common pieces of advice given to any new author is to "write about what you know." Creative work is going to be more genuine and credible when focused on a topic that is familiar. An author's mental energy is more likely to remain high if the story closely parallels a passion.

With this simple piece of advice planted in my mind, it was easy to develop the setting of the Prairie Winds Golf Course. My passion for golf sets the backdrop for a wide range of human emotions and challenges that play out within the pages of Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course. Whether or not you are fan of the game of golf, you will find a story or character to which you can relate.

When reflecting on my dual interests in golf and writing novels, I began to realize that the two activities intersect in more ways than one. Here are just a few of the similarities between writing a book and playing the game of golf:

  • Improvement happens when you practice every day. If you are a golfer, I am sure you get to the practice range as often as possible. When developing your writing skills, taking just a few minutes to journal in the morning will keep those ideas flowing.
  • Weather affects your ability to participate. A golfer is not going to hop in a cart and drive out to the greens in the middle of a thunderstorm. (Well, if you've read my books, you know that maybe Captain Jer would.) On the other hand, I know of some writers who create their best work sitting by a fireplace while rain hits the windows.
  • It's more fun to participate than to watch on TV. I love watching the Masters on the television every spring, but I sure would much rather be in Augusta playing. Same thing is true for writing ... I'm not sure that I would want to sit and watch someone write for two hours even though I love to take to the keyboard myself.
To my fellow writers out there, regardless of your genre -- what commonalities have you found between the writing process and the topics about which to write? Maybe you haven't thought about it before, but I am sure you can think of a few examples in no time!

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