Here I am, on the eighteenth hole (that’s The End, in case you’re not au fait with golfing terms).
Do not be fooled by that cheery grin. I was exhausted! It had taken us over FIVE HOURS to reach that point (he told me it would be about three and a half but it was busy and all the players were stacked up on the tees).
But worse than that, we were up in the hills and there were mosquitoes everywhere. I spent the next three days plagued by itchy, sore legs (and neck), because mosquitoes love me and about twenty of the little blighters had bitten me.
It made me think, as I watched the golfers drive, chip and putt their way around the course: there are some similarities between golf and writing! It can be frustrating (oh, those bunkers!) – and addictive – and if you want to improve, you have to practice. A lot.
Thriller writer Tom Clancy said about writing, “A lot of people think [when you write] something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired—it’s hard work.” He advised writers to “learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it and keep doing it until you get it right.”
On a completely different subject, I’ve been asked to give this workshop a plug. It’s being run in conjunction with the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and sponsored by Penny Shorts and is taking place on 17th November, just outside Chippy.
Not only do you get valuable ‘insider tips’ from published novelists and a literary agent but – and this is surely worth the £85 fee in itself – the hot lunch is provided by the local WI! Bound to be delicious! If you live anywhere near Chipping Norton, might be worth a look.
You’ve got until 7th February 2016 (or 15th February, as they’ve printed further up the page*!) to get your entry in for the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook competition. It’s free to enter, regardless of where you live (although you must be registered on the website) and there are some great prizes.
The theme is: AGEING.
*to be on the safe side, I’d aim to get your entry in by the earlier date.