A to Z: Baseball

This morning Middle Son pulled a crumpled note from his backpack and nonchalantly handed it over. “Here, mom, I got this a couple of days ago.”

This, of course, being the all-important sign up sheet for the summer baseball meeting. Which is, of course, tonight–when both Dear Hubby and I are out of town.

My little boys LOVE baseball. They live it. We live it every weekend between mid-May and mid-August and every week day for practice or games. It literally consumes our family.

Writing, of course, is exactly like baseball.

It’s all-consuming and takes a whole team.

I’ve been working with a few publishing houses over the course of the last few months and it is very clear to me that without every single player having their head and heart in the game, my novels will not make it to the playoffs. They will not become League Champions. Instead, they will sit in the dug out, spitting seeds into the dirt and wondering what they heck happened to their potential.

So, who makes up Team Novel?

  • Coaches- Our critique partners and sounding boards play an integral part in keeping us motivated and on the right track. They can give us the right cues on when to round a base and when to slide.
  • Umps- The editorial department makes the calls. They watch for strikes and balls and make the call on home plate. Without umps, our novels would be riddled with errors–some simple like typos and others glaring like MC’s eating three dinners in a row and never going to sleep.
  • Outfielders- These guys and gals see the big picture. Other than the batter, they are the only ones who have their eyes on the whole field. Graphic designers work hand in hand with marketing to create eye-catching covers that will pull together the most important aspects of a novel for our readers to drool over.
  • The Basemen- These dudes are the brains behind the game. They are like mini chess players calculating the opponents’ next moves and planning out their strategies three plays into the future. Our marketing departments are some of the most important players on the field. As are our street teams. Don’t ignore their power.
  • The Pitcher and the Catcher- This team of two needs to be rock-solid and is the core for which all other activity hinges on. The writer and the agent/editor. Without great writing (pitcher), the editor has nothing to catch and nothing to throw. And yet, the editor reads the batter and gives directives to the pitcher. It’s all give and take between them. Sometimes the pitcher and catcher are one in the same, such as when an author self-pubs. But never fear, the dichotomy is still there, as each of these positions require very different skills from the other. The self-pubber just has to work harder to accomplish what others do with two or more.
  • The Manager- The all-important spouse, significant other, parent, child, co-worker, friend or nanna who has your back. We all have that one person who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Without them, we couldn’t manage to write.

Yet baseball is more than one team. It’s the audience we sit next to. It’s the concession stand workers providing us with ball park hot dogs and water to slake our thirst. It’s the opposing team and the grueling game played with them in the heat of summer.

Baseball is an experience, not a single event.

Writing is no different.

So today, reach out to your Team Novel–no matter what stage you are in your writing journey–and thank them for their support. Let them know you appreciate their efforts. And don’t be afraid to show your good sportsmanship. Congratulate someone on another team for their hard-earned win.

B is for baseball!


10 responses to “A to Z: Baseball

  1. What an awesome metaphorical comparison. Everything you say is so right. There is a team behind this process. While i am not far enough along with my novel to engage such a team I know it is needed and look forward to that day.

    • Thanks for enjoying my post. And despite just gettting started, I’m sure you already have some of your team in place. I find it interesting that my managers sometimes come in the most unlikely forms. All of a sudden it will hit me, “Wow, you are one of my strongest supporters and I didn’t even know you cared!” That moment of realization is super fun, so stay on the lookout for yours!

  2. Fantastic analogy! 🙂

  3. I think legendary writing comes about when there’s a group of passionate people working to ensure it comes out the best way possible. I prefer working alone for most things, so this is a good reminder that it takes a whole village to get a good book out.

    • I agree. Working indpendently is easier most of the time. It can be disconcerting at first to put on that team jersey, but our success as writers depends on lots of other people. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s hard to step out of the writing closet–our comfort zone is one–ourselves.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  4. I have grandsons.They’ve played other sports but not baseball, but what a good comparison!

    • I am jealous. I can only imagine how fun being a grandparent is. I hope you get to enjoy watching them play their sport of choice!

      I love hearing what other people experience in their lives. Thanks so much for sharing yours.

  5. Very well written and enjoyable.

    I feel my writing is inadequate when I read such well written posts. I can only learn.

    Thank you.

    • I very much doubt your writing is inadequate. Take pride in what you accomplish because I guarantee you’ve done wonderful things I can’t even imagine! Not only that, but honing our writing skillz takes oodles of time and hard work. It has taken me a decade to get where I am today and I’m still learning. Everyday. I love it!

      I wish you the best as you journey down your writing path and hope you find some wonderful signs along the way to bring you closer to your goals.

      Hugs and thanks so much for stopping by.

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