The writer has a simple request of the reader and that is to spend some time with them. They put their words out on paper, online or via smoke signal and wait for the reader to take action.
They are waiting to see if the reader buys into the magic and if so they take a journey together. That is part of the fun, neither knows quite what the journey will look like but they take hands and walk into the unknown.
Johnny or June can write a song but they don’t know whether the harmony will work or if the chorus will catch the eyes/ears of another until they roll on down the road.
That is part of the mystery, the magic and the intrigue that is presented to both parties.
The writer may have constructed an outline, built a foundation and decorated the interior and exterior but you don’t know what the reader hears and or sees.
You only have an idea and a dream that whatever they see lends itself to an interest in turning the page time and time again.
Go Get The Ball
People have asked me if I have a general philosophy in life and in writing. Sometimes I have told them it is called “go get the ball.”
I spent about 20 years or so playing pick up basketball at various parks and gyms. I tried to focus most of that time playing with with the same group of guys.
It reduced the possibility of stupid fouls and fights and built some good relationships. It also enabled me to really focus on that “go get the ball.” philosophy.
Simply put If I wanted my team to win we needed to control the ball more often than the other team. If I didn’t feel like I was getting enough touches in the game I implemented “go get the ball for myself.
That worked well for me because my favorite thing to do in the game is rebound. It is more about effort and desire than talent. Though there are times where it is exceptionally difficult because if a guy has six inches on you talent and effort sometimes fall short.
I used the same philosophy when I coached my kids’ soccer teams.
“You want to win? You want to feel like you are involved? Go get the ball.”
That is a bit harder with writing because there are some more variables. Some people try to do it with headlines and I suppose there are moments when I do too.
Lately I probably focus less on that than others because I have a small group of readers that I know are dedicated and likely to read most of what I write.
Not always a guarantee because even if you are among the few who know where to go we all have lives that sometimes pull us in multiple directions.
But if I decide it is time to try to blow things up again I’ll probably implement “go get the ball again.
In the interim, I’ll wait and see who wants to spend a little time with the writer and go on a journey or two.