Writing is a lot like fishing, both of which I enjoy very much. Both are hard work. And a lot of times you get skunked. But if you keep trying, eventually you catch something. I have always been drawn to activities that require far more effort than they offer reward. I don’t know why this is. Masochism? Low self esteem? Perhaps I’m a bit of a simpleton.
I know people who golf. I kind of think they are idiots, but someone who is willing to stand in the freezing rain with a fishing rod shouldn’t judge. I have played golf twice. The second time, I hit a hole in one. I still finished like 300 over par. I will never forget it. I hit the ball (straight for once). We went to go find it and couldn’t (my Dad and my sister were there, too). Then we hear shouting and look up on the hill and there are these old guys jumping up and down and hollering. I got my name on a plaque. I’m a member of the Drambuie ‘Hole in One Club’. I got a duffel bag. And then I quit golfing. What would be the point? Writing and fishing are also activities I like to do alone…usually. I like doing them with other people, too, but it is a totally different experience. I have collaborated with other writers, and it is really fun. But it loses some of the Zen. Same with fishing. I don’t like fishing on a boat with other people for the most part. I like fishing with my Dad or a friend, from the bank, where we can spread out and find our own place to not catch fish, then meet up later to share stories.
I like a challenge. Sure, golfing would still be a challenge because I totally suck at it, but the ultimate goal has already been reached. It would be boring to spend years doing worse than I did the second time I played.
Motorcycles. I like motorcycles, too. I have thought often about what motorcycles, fishing, and writing have in common. Solitary pursuits for the most part? But I also ride with a club, fish with my Dad, and love to write (especially music) with my friends. So, I enjoy it both ways. Hard to do? That’s part of it. But they are also impossible to conquer. As good as you get at writing, fishing, or biking, you can always do better. And, while some might find that frustrating, I find it inspiring. No matter what happens, I’ve got something to work on.
* * * * * *
JD Mader is the author of ‘Joe Café’ and a contributing author to Indies Unlimited. You can find more of JD’s writing at his blog www.jdmader.com.