Monday, June 16, 2008

Writing and Golf

Like millions of Americans, I watched the US Open Golf Tournament yesterday. The US Open is either the ultimate test of golf or an exercise in sadomasochism sanctioned by the US Golf Association. It has rough tall enough to hide a small dog. Sand traps are placed at strategic spots to grab the shots of those whose aim is just the slightest bit off. The greens are fast, undulating and slanted, often dropping off into barrancas (steep rock-filled gullies) that would deter even a mountain goat. Each of the two men who finished tied for first shot one under par for the seventy-two holes of competition. In an average golf tournament, the winning number is generally eight to twelve or more shots under par. The Open is a tough test.

I’ve realized that writing is a lot like golf. (Pause to let the laughter and catcalls die down). No, really. To begin with, lots of people take up both activities, but not many of them get serious. To do that requires an extensive knowledge of the subject, lots of practice, perseverance, and the ability to experience defeat time and time again without giving up. Professional golfers do it. And serious writers do, as well.

I’ll never be a professional golfer, and I doubt that I’ll be able to shoot my age unless I live to be eighty-eight and am still able to play. But I enjoy it. I don’t know if one published book and a handful of pieces in periodicals qualify me as a "serious” writer, but I enjoy that, as well. And so long as God gives me the time and inspiration, I’ll keep after it.

Like the US Open, writing is a tough test. But if it were easy, everyone would do it. So I’ll keep striving to improve my game. I hope you do the same.

1 comment:

Anne Mateer said...

It is funny that both of us wrote about golf, but even funnier for me since I've never watched or played the game in my life!

But I'm with you--as long as God lets me keep writing, I will. I have no idea if it will mean remaining an amateur for the rest of my days or "graduating" to the realm of the published.