Monday, February 22, 2010

Writing is Like Perfecting a Golf Swing

In 2009 I set out to write my first book. The words were boiling inside me and it was only a matter of time before I went completely insane or began to write. In the same year I took up golf as a hobby. Unlike writing, I never wanted to play golf. In fact, I never really understood the draw and swore I would never waste my time chasing a stupid little ball with a crooked stick wearing an ugly polo shirt. But here I am one year later wishing the snow would clear from my yard so that I can chase a little ball around with a crooked stick. Life is funny, now I spend my days perfecting my writing and golf swing, both equally frustrating and rewarding.

Writing and golf are equal opportunity ventures where you strive to achieve your goal while submitting to the fact that perfection is unattainable.

Equal Opportunity: Golf and writing are what I call equal opportunity sports/pastimes/careers. The golf ball, like the reader, does not care if you are young or old, big or small, or even from where you come. If done properly, a ninety pound woman can hit the ball further than a linebacker just as the words of an uneducated ninety year old man can reach further into a reader’s heart than the words of a young Ivy League scholar.

Perfection is Unattainable: Thanks to “Tin Cup” for this classic line. To complete my first book and perfect my golf swing, I’m constantly moving toward perfection knowing all the while that it’s completely unattainable. Just when I think I’ve done it, it’s a masterpiece and there is no further to go I soon realize I’ve only made it half way there.

I finished writing my book in 2009. It took me 20 days to write my hook. It took me 15 days to rewrite the hook , and I thought I was on my way.

GREAT NEWS: My hook was successful and my first agent is interested!

BAD NEWS: The agent wants to see my Book Proposal and I insist, “But I already wrote the book, why do you need the proposal?”

Just when I thought I could make up my own rules in this game of being published, I’m smacked right back into reality. So I began the task of writing my Book Proposal, which is essentially a marketing plan for a non-fiction book. In about fifteen brilliant pages it must answer the simple question:

“Why the hell should we put our good money into publishing your book?”

I have spent the better part of the past month writing my Book Proposal and I’m almost finished. I’m not ready to concede to my imperfection just yet. Wish me luck and please support me with your honesty.



  1. Hi Buffi,

    Hope the writing is going well for you.

    I just wanted to drop you a quick message to say thank you for your comments on my blog, your observations and words hit the nail right on the head.

    Also, if you'd ever you need or want someone to have a read of something your working on I'd be happy to - I've read some snippets from your website and I really liked what I read. I loved your voice.

    Happy writing and take care.

  2. How exciting that you have the interest of your favorite agent! That is a big first hurdle to jump. Good luck with the proposal; that almost seemed harder for me to write than the whole dang book! Keep us updated!

  3. Hi Buffi- thank you for following and commenting on my blog. Greatly appreciated!

    I've checked out both of your sites and the book sounds fascinating- what an extraordinary family life you've had! I'd love to read it when available.

    I agree, writing is nothing but persistence, perseverance and practice. All synonomous really. Congrats on getting an agent interested- this is a very positive step in the right direction. Everything will hopefully fall into place for you.

    All the best,
    Lou :)

  4. Tigerlilly & Sarah & Lou,
    Thank you so much for your support. Women like you amaze me and keep me positive.

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  6. Hey Buffi,

    Are ya nuts? [Don't answer that; I already know.] You sent me to your blog, which says your "favorite" agent asked for a proposal. Well, since ya just sent me the query letter, I know that ain't me!

    I haveta comment anyway, as I think we're related.

    A woman who laughs at funerals. [That would be me, but I can always pull the "bipolar" card.] A gypsy mother who refuses to wear a bra [My mother took me to see the play, GYPSY; and she refuses to buy a new bra, as they cost too much.] and a father who has two wives. [My father had two wives, but not at the same time.] A brother who sleeps under the coffee table [I have a brother who sleeps, and he has a coffee table.] and a sister who was kidnapped. [I have a sister, and I wish she'd been kidnapped--okay, not really.] A homosexual minister [Yep. One of my 7 uncles.], a missing uncle [All accounted for, if bein' in prison isn't considered missing.] and a feisty red-headed grandmother [Okay, I'm a full-blooded Italian, so I ain't got no way to fake the red hair. Although I'm a grandmother, and I dye my hair a lovely shade of red-brown ... OMGosh! Am I your grandmother?!!?] who was longing to leave it all. [Wish I could, but no such luck. Promised my hubby (he's such a sweet man), and my sis I'd never try suicide a 3rd time.]

    Your family photos are ridiculous [the good ridiculous], and I hope your favorite agent signs you. If not, there’s always some other fool you can submit your proposal to…. Okay, enough time spent boring you. It's 4:20 AM, and I never went to bed. Time to go stretch out in my coffin....

    Kelly Mortimer, The EXTREME Agent
    Mortimer Literary Agency