Saturday, January 29, 2005

Getting Down To It: So I'm reading this book by Dave Ramsey, More Than Enough. It's about getting out of debt and changing your life, like I'm trying to do.

Only he comes to this part about a golfer. A pro golfer, who can hit straighter and farther than anybody. And this guy comes up to him and says, boy, I'd do anything to hit like you.

And the golfer says, "No, you wouldn't."

And the guy says, "Oh, yeah, I really would."

And the golfer says, "Okay. Here's what you have to give. Get up every morning and hit 500 golf balls. Hit them until your hands are so blistered they bleed. The next morning, tape over the blisters and do it again. You work hard enough, you can hit like that."

It didn't get me thinking about my money, but it did get me thinking about my writing. I've been really good about writing in that other blog every day, but I haven't been so good about doing my fiction writing. 28 days down in the year, and I've written six pages of fiction.

My goal was to complete one short story a month.

I know it's hard and that I have a lot on my plate. But I also know I can't expect to get the results if I can't do the work.

I was thinking about the golf analogy, and I was thinking about how I don't feel like I can practice. Everything has to be a perfect swing. The story I'm writing, I want to sell, and that's not practice that's the real thing.

But then I realized, fiction is different from golf. Imagine if you got to go out and hit the golf ball around and then store up the best shots you made on each part of the course, put those together, and present that to the judges of the tournament. If you took a few shots that stunk, you'd keep swinging until you nailed just that right shot.

That's what writing's like. You try the scene one way, you try it another, and when you finally hit the scene that sounds right, that's the only one anybody every needs to see. No need to sweat that this version or that version wasn't quite right. You're not writing on stage--you're sculpting in preparation for an unveiling.

That's liberating for me.

I need it to be liberating for me, because I have to loosen up my inhibitions and fear of imperfection and write.

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