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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Writing and Publishing - Just Like Baseball

It is the season, and yes, I am a hapless Cubs fan. Grew up a Pittsburgh Pirate lover, but when they began to become a very sorrowful team in the 1990s, I started to lose interest. Because I've lived in Chicago now for more than twenty years, the Cubs have become a favorite, and yes, have given me occasional hope. And despite the heartache, I still love the game - it's simplicity, the unique "no clock" element to it, and its heavy emphasis on statistics. No, it's not that I love math, but rather because I have begun to realize how much writing, or rather publishing, and baseball statistics have in common.

The biggest similarity - getting published is like getting hits. You strike out, fly out, ground out and walk far more often than you get you get that stand-up double off the right field ivy. So, if your batting average in baseball is, say, .250, that's pretty darn respectable. Translate that into the craft and art of writing and publishing - if you write and try to publish and a fourth of the material you submit is being published in journals, magazines, online literary sites, etc., well, that's pretty darn respectable.

Not even the best writers in the world, the most celebrated or accomplished, get EVERYTHING they send out published. Now, mind you, if they are accomplished they have a better shot at it, certainly, but most of us are not on the popularity or celebrity level of a Stephen King, right? We are just writers, toiling along, trying to tell the best stories we know. And if we get something published, we should celebrate it heartily...like a bloop single over the shortstop's head.

David W. Berner