Let’s give a Warm RG2E Welcome to Featured Author Joan Reeves, who’s chatting with us about “Life, Writing and Baseball”…
I’m celebrating my third year as an indie author by giving away the audio book edition of my first romantic comedy JUST ONE LOOK. (See end of this post for buy links.) For a chance to win, please leave a comment by 8:00pm CST on Jan. 18 along with your email (write out the words AT and DOT whatever so it won’t be a hot link that gets harvested by the unscrupulous web spiders that scour the Internet for email addresses). I’ll have darling hubs draw a name from the hat to select one lucky winner to receive a free copy of the audio book of JUST ONE LOOK.
My post today may seem aimed at writers only, but it applies to anyone who wants to achieve something amazing. Let me explain.
I love baseball. I also love to juxtapose incongruent elements to explain something. Why? Because it’s a challenge I guess, and I’m all about challenges. Writing and baseball. You may think those two don’t have much in common, but bear with me.
In baseball, one thing every player must learn is how to hit a curve ball. The curve ball, sometimes called a Bender, sometimes a Hook, is dreaded by batters – even those who are power hitters. Even though it’s slower than a fastball, it fools batters into swinging too soon thus earning them a strike rather than a hit.
So how do baseball players overcome this curse. They learn that the first thing they must do is keep their eyes on the ball. That way they don’t have to guess what the pitcher is going to throw at them. They see and recognize what the pitcher is going to throw as soon as the ball leaves his hand.
Every pitch has a “release point.” If the pitcher’s fingers are over the front of the ball, he’s throwing a change-up. I his hand is directly behind the ball, he’s throwing a fastball. If his fingers are to the side, you better believe he’s pitching you a curve ball.
Batters have to recognize what’s coming at them and what action to take.
What’s This Got To Do With Writing and Life?
Life is all about curve balls. No one gets a pass on life’s curve balls. Writing has its share of curve balls too. Writers get tossed curve balls all the time. They need to have a plan of action ready when this happens. This usually means they need to have a backup plan or a set of steps they’ll take when the curve balls come their way.
Some writers never see the curve ball until it’s whistling by them at warp speed. These are the ones that usually “swing too early” and strike out.
Curve ball: a bad review. The writer swings too early by responding emotionally to the review by making a comment back. Strike!
Curve ball: writing goals based upon best-case scenario for everything falling into its proper place are set. The writer has a family crisis or gets sick and can’t keep the no-room-for error goals so the writing schedule falls by the wayside and the writer loses his/her way. Strike!
Curve ball: sales decline. The writer loses faith and wonders why she’s spending all her time in an endeavor with so few rewards. Strike!
What To Do About Those Pesky Curve Balls
Batters have an easier time at recognizing what’s coming at them and what action to take. In writing, it’s practically impossible to recognize a curve ball heading toward you until it arrives.
The more important action to take is to plan for the curve balls – in advance. Think about all the things that can happen and figure out how to deal with them before they happen.
Bad reviews? Hey, get real. Every writer gets bad reviews. Just check out the book pages for some of the most popular authors around. If your writer’s ego is so weak that bad reviews destroy you, then work on that. Now. Not when your book gets slammed.
Unrealistic writing goals? Again, don’t write goals that aren’t achievable. I don’t know anyone who can plan on feeling great every day or on their kids staying healthy through cold and flu season or any of the other life events that disrupt our writing.
Declining sales? Retail is cyclical. Book sales are retail. There will be ups and downs. Don’t agonize. Don’t waste time and energy in trying to figure out why your sales are down. Use your time and energy to write another book.
As in baseball, try to remember that you may get fooled by a wild pitch, but if you have an advance plan, and you keep your head, you’ll come out okay.
Joan Reeves is a bestselling Kindle author of Romance. In her spare time, she’s a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet who – no, wait, that’s someone else. Joan is actually a multi-published print and ebook author and is published all over the web under her own name, various pseudonyms, and as a ghost. Catch her at her blog http://SlingWords.blogspot.com or her website http://www.JoanReeves.com — which she is updating while she dodges curve balls.
What a fabulous analogy, Joan! Long live curve balls…you never know what kind of fabulousness will result when you take a chance and hit one outta the park!!!
Thanks bunches for sharing and thanks too for the Audio Book Giveaway!!!
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder