09 June 2008

The Zen of Bowling



If you judged solely by my enthusiasm, you would think that I’m one of the best bowlers you ever met. The fact of the matter is that I don’t recall ever breaking 100, and tend to celebrate scoring anything above a score of 50. Why do I enjoy an activity so much that by most standards I suck at? Perspective.


When I go up and throw my first ball I immediately turn around and go back to get my second one. Once I throw my second one I immediately turn around and go back to my seat and see from there what pins dropped. Nine times out of ten I never see the ball hit the pins, I only see the aftermath of whether or not they did. That’s because my focus isn’t on hitting the pins, it’s on throwing the ball.


I enjoy selecting just the right ball, usually a lovely purple or red, and getting a feel for it until I’m able to heft it and release it just where I want it to hit the lane, (or just about anyway). I have fun throwing the ball and once I let it go, I let it go completely. I have no control on whether or not it hit’s the pins at that point, my influence and ability to manage its fate began and ended with the time it spent in my hands, and I’m okay with that.


My fate swaying abilities, or lack there of, are the same with writing. I enjoy crafting the story, but once I give it up to another I have no control over the reaction of those evaluating it for publication. Some folks will fall in love with my heroine, others will find her too bloodthirsty. Others will not quite get the story and still others will love my voice but want to hear it saying something else.


Once it’s published, some readers will passionately pull for one relationship over another. A segment will fan-girl/boy the story arc while others lament it and call it too dark or too fluffy. Many will be loyal, die-hard fans. A few will never read beyond the first book, or will read but not happily because they need to know what happens despite their personal reservations.


And all of that, to the very last, is just fine.


Agents, editors, and readers are all pins at the end of the lane. I’ll knock some out with my dazzling and true aim. I’ll bypass others with a mile of space in between us. I don’t get to pick and choose. I just get to throw.


Zen Ramble Done


~X
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