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.