Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I had an interesting conversation with a professional golfer the other day, a woman whose name I forget, in which she literally sniffed at the concept of a freelance writer. She felt competing in golf was a much more difficult task than being a successful writer. Naturally, I disagree.

In golf, the path of success is straightforward. If you're really good, you enter a tournament, and if you win you move forward until you're playing Tiger Woods for best in the world. In golf, the best are the most successful.

In writing, and in art, the best are often unpublished. Stephen King is arguably the best writer in America, not just in sales but also in skill. I'm willing to bet, however, that there are dozens who could be equally great (no, not myself, I have no illusions that I'm anything more than an adequate writer who can't spell), but the process of publication is a mystery to them and so their work never sees the light of a bookstore. Especially today, when new writers often need to bring their gigantic market with them, or they won't get published (publishers say really great writing will always find a publishing house, but even they don't say it with conviction). Have a market and you can get drivel published.

So writing and any of the arts is harder than golf because a golfer needs to know how to golf and a writer needs to know publishing, business, marketing, and last-and-very-much least, writing.

Is this sour grapes on my part? ... yeah, maybe. But it's true.


dams said...


i'm not so sure. just because i hesitate to say anything about 2 such things i know nothing about.

but i will say it's really hard to make it as a dancer...but writing is probably harder. golf? no way.