By John Coyne
Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.
I recently published a book entitled How To Write A Novel in 100 Days. Now I thought I might attempt to tighten that frame of reference (and time) and focus on, How To Write a Book in 18 Holes.
Over my writing career I have published three novels on golf, and edited three books of golf instruction. I have some advice on how to do both for anyone who writes or plays golf, or both, like myself.
In my mind, playing golf and writing a novel are incongruously connected. Let me try and explain.
Golfers enjoy playing alone, often playing early in the day or late in the evening after the sun has set when it’s cool and quiet and the course is empty. Why? Well, as all golfers know, we have to work on our game without the distractions of others.
The same is true for writers.
The first task for a writer is finding a quiet place to work. A comfortable room where it’s just you and the blank page. Writing a perfect sentence takes as much time and effort as grooving one’s golf swing. You have to do it more than once to get it right.
Nothing is more intimidating to a writer as a blank sheet of paper or an empty computer screen. It sits there in its emptiness. Staring at you as if to ask: Now what do you have to say?
Golfers face similar fears. Standing on the first tee, for example, staring down the empty fairway, they tell themselves:
- Keep it straight.
- Keep it out of trouble.
- And whatever else, don’t top it!
So, staring at a blank sheet of paper or empty computer screen, or standing alone with a driver in your hands on the first tee, the fears and demands for both writers and golfers are similar: Get me off to a good round of golf! I’ll start writing my novel now!
Still, the writer might secretly think at that moment: I’m going to write a bestseller!
The golfer might secretly declare: I’m going to break par for the first time in my life. Continue reading “How to Write a Book in 18 Holes”