Baseball season started on Thursday! My favorite team is the Cleveland Indians.
I can be incredibly loud and cheer over the littlest things when I really get into the game.
I’ve also been known to refuse to give up when they are obviously going to lose.
Why am I writing about baseball?
I don’t know. 😋
Writing and baseball have more in common than you think. And it’s not just pitches. (In writing, a pitch is when you propose your idea to an agent or editor.)
But without further ado, here are five ways writing and baseball are alike.
You have off days
You know those days when you’re watching baseball and your team is on fire? When they win 17 to 3 and your pitcher strikes out 15 batters? It seems like they will win the World Series, doesn’t it?
But then there are those days when they lose to the worst team in baseball. When it looks like all they do is drop the ball or throw it way offline. Then you wonder why you even cheer for them. Because they suck.
But, if you are a true fan, you stick with them.
You know those days when you are writing, the words just keep flowing, you can’t type fast enough, you might even skip dinner to finish the chapter? Those days you declare that the best job in the world is to be a writer. The days when you can’t stop smiling because it’s just coming together. You’re going to take on the world.
Then there are the days getting 100 words on a page is hard. When you just don’t want to write. You’d rather clean the bathroom than open your Google Doc.
I know what that’s like. I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to throw my work-in-progress against the wall. I’ve wondered why I even bother writing because it sucks.
Then I’ve had the days when I can’t stop writing. I write three chapters in a morning (granted, short chapters). I have the days when I dance around because THE CHARACTERS ARE SO AMAZING AND THIS WHOLE BOOK IS BETTER THAN NARNIA AND LORD OF THE RINGS PUT TOGETHER TIMES FIVE!!! (Those are the days everyone backs away from me and gives me weird looks.)
It’s a team effort
You can’t play baseball by yourself. You need three basemen, a shortstop, three outfielders, a pitcher, and a catcher. Plus you need an opposing team. And fans. What’s baseball without fans?
And what’s writing without readers? What’s writing without a team of people to cheer you on?
Baseball players have coaches. Writers have mentors.
You can’t write without other people. This might seem counterintuitive at first. Aren’t most books written by one person? And certainly not everyone wants to or can co-author a book.
I’m not saying you have to write a book with someone else. I’m saying you need a community. You need your own crazy fans who come to every home game. You need people to cheer you on even when you’re behind 8-1.
These people can be your friends, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. They can be anyone who love you and genuinely care about you, even when your writing sucks.
It’s a solo effort at the same time
But even with the greatest fans and coaches, baseball can’t be played without individual players.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if all the fans are yelling and all your teammates have scored before you, it all comes down to you. No one can swing the bat for you, no one can put the words on the paper for you.
You might have a prestigious degree. Maybe you went to the best writing conference in the world. Your writing mentor could be a New York Times Bestseller.
But it all comes down to you. You’re the only one who can write your story.
Every player is different
What do you think would happen if an ace pitcher started to doubt his skill after watching another pitcher throw fire? He probably would fall apart.
That’s what happens when you compare yourself as a writer to other writers.
One of my best writing friends submitted to an agent not too long ago. And I’m so proud of her!
But at the same time, I was discouraged because I hadn’t finished my first draft of my first novel ever. She’s right where I want to be some day.
But my writer mentors reminded me of what I have done. And when you look for your achievements, no matter how small, you will be surprised.
Because you’re a better writer than you think you are. You’ve done more than you think you have.
Just take a look.
It takes practice
Contrary to popular belief, writers don’t sit down with the perfect novel just pouring out of their fingertips.
No one expects a baseball player to be phenomenal the first time they step up to the plate. But for some reason, people seem to expect that from writers. What’s worse, we writers seem to expect it from ourselves.
You don’t know how many times your favorite player has swung the bat to perfect his stance. Pitchers throw countless pitches in order to perfect their curveball.
Writers write drafts and more drafts and even more drafts. We write things that never see the light of day, and honestly, don’t deserve to. Many writers have “practice novels” no one has read just so they can learn the craft.
Writing, just like anything else, requires practice to become a master. Lots of practice.
Here’s to a new writing season of cheering fans, homeruns, and practice. You’ve got this. Someday you will accomplish your dreams if you just keep working. Never give up. ❤
Do you like baseball? Who do you root for? Can you think of any other ways baseball (or any other sport) is like writing?