Now Stop Thinking. Just Throw!

My son is a talented baseball player. Besides his regular team instruction, Kiddo works with a private coach to more individually hone his pitching and batting skills. Coach Brock is a former pro baseball ball player and is wonderful at breaking baseball skills down to their most fundamental movements. It requires strategy, strength, and instinct. Baseball is much more mental than I ever realized and it is important not to get flustered. Errors will happen. We’ve learned some valuable lessons during this mentorship. It struck me how aptly this advice applies to writers as well.

*Muscle memory is about repetition. Learn it correctly, then repeat it until the movements become second nature. (reading and writing = muscle memory, too)

*Daily exercise is crucial. Flabby muscles can’t activate. (daily writing and reading, anyone?)

*Always rely on your power position; the ready-stance that activates your core and keeps you always ready for the surprise play.

*When you’re up at bat, keep you’re eye on the ball. When you make contact, just run. Don’t look back! (what’s done is done!)

*As a pitcher (or a writer,) when you stand on that mound, block out everything else and focus on the catcher’s mit. Ignore the noise from the other dugout. Reach! Focus!

*When you feel overwhelmed, take a step back, and breathe.

*You will make errors. Don’t get flustered.

*Over-thinking can make you rigid and tense. Your mind and body know what to do. Now just throw! (don’t over-analyze. Just write!)

*Above all, have fun!

There you are, dear writer friends. Learn story structure, study good books, take a deep breath when you need to. But, when you step onto that writer’s mound, don’t think too much. Just throw like the wind and have fun with your storytelling. Your joy is bound to lead you to a home run.

Quote for the day:”To write truly good stories, stories that will satisfy you as well as your readers, you must do something no writing teacher, no book, no guidelines, can help you with. You must take risks. Knowing your craft can help you tell a story. But only by taking risks can you make art.” Marion Dane Bauer, from her book, WHAT’S YOUR STORY? A YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO WRITING FICTION

3 Responses to “Now Stop Thinking. Just Throw!”

  1. Lisa Cooper

    This is a good analogy, Donna. Just as an athlete uses concentration, practice, ability to accept errors and a positive attitude to become proficient at a sport, so can writers to improve their prose.

  2. georgeshannon

    Thanks for the encouragement to "stop thinking-just throw." It's such wise advise in so many areas. I've been doing picture books for thirty years, but my recent years taking improv classes has revived my writing. Improv is ALL about NO THINKING. Just DO! Take chances. Leap outside the box. And have fun with the new and unexpected ideas that suddenly appear.

    Happy writing and not thinking!

    George Shannon

  3. Donna

    Thanks for your responses Lisa and George. I'm the worst when it comes to analysis paralysis. Over thinking can zap the joy out of anything, can't it?

    Happy writing to each of you.