Yes, that's right. Writing is like doing sports. Why, you ask?
- Some people are born to be good at it. Annoying for those of us who aren't, or only marginally so, but it's true. Some people pick up a tennis racket and hit that yellow thing without much trouble. Some people sit down at their desk and just start writing, and what comes out is more or less ready to print. Yes, there are people like that, but for almost everyone else, it's lots of work to get anywhere.
- For most people, it takes a h+## of a lot of practice to be good, never mind competition-level good.
- There's lots of different categories of sport, and being good at one doesn't mean you're good at another. We all have our pet genres, don't we? Maybe there's more than one we feel comfortable with, but I don't think anyone can write everything, do you? Personally, I like fantasy, romance, horror, a little bit of suspense and a touch of erotica. Memoirs, true stories, pure crime stories (rather than crime worked into other other genres), dramas... not so much my thing.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- You may manage without it, but it's probably a good idea to get expert advice before you get serious about anything. At least before you go out in public with it... Some writerly things are more prone to advice, some less so (editing is vital, especially in today's instapublish environment). For example, I go running without having ever had a teacher... I've read books and magazines, but no coaching of a personal sort was involved. I also post blog posts without asking anyone else about it (ok so you comment after the fact but that doesn't count). I ask for LOTS of advice whilst writing my stories, though, and read tons of books, and blog, and and and.
- It's more fun when you're not alone (but you still need to make the effort yourself, no one else will do it for you). That's why I'm here, talking to you guys. Feedback is good, good, good!!
- It's possible to do too much, and too little. When it's sports, you'll ache in places you didn't know one could ache when you do too much. When it's writing, you hit a wall or Mr Muse gets pissed off or you run out of paper or pen or your laptop gets a heart attack. Either way, pacing is good. If you do too little, on the other hand, you're out of practice in no time and that goes for both sports and writing.
- You can do it for yourself, for money, or for the community effort. And like most things if you're doing it for money it will probably take up the most time and be the most work. That isn't to say that doing it for yourself doesn't sometimes result in more money on your bank account...or a positive community/social effect.
What do you think? Good analogy? Can you think of any more ways writing is like sports?