Here it is, the closest flag on the practice green where I am showing off my lack of golf skills. It’s about 120 yards out and with a little luck, I can bounce a golf ball about halfway to the flag. The few occasions when I manage to get near the goal come as total surprises. Those only happen after a lot of misses. I keep swinging through those crummy hits, partly because it felt good to exercise, and partly because I want to see if practice really does make perfect.
Being a writer, my thoughts automatically turn to the discipline of writing. Like golf, or any other learned skill, writing takes practice. Don’t try to write the next great novel on a practice round. Just see if you can improve one technique. Read a book on the topic, or try out some of the techniques your favorite authors use. Allow yourself the simple pleasure of practicing.
Several people have told me they would like to write a memoir for their grandchildren. What’s stopping them? “I’m not a good writer” or “I don’t have time” are the most common excuses I hear. That’s where practice rounds come in. They provide a chance to test out your skills without high expectations. Plus, practice doesn’t require a lot of time.
Try it. When you find yourself thinking about a grandchild, jot those ideas down in a notebook or on your laptop. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment and might even improve your writing skill. Who knows, you might hit a perfect shot to your goal.