My son pitched five shut-out innings during his last little league tournament game this week – the first tournament he competed in. A stellar performance on his part but his team lost, 2 to 1 in the final inning. The stakes were high -“Win or go home.” The loss resulted in his team packing up their gear. The team’s hopes of being district champs were lost.
Writing is very similar. I often compare my writing experience to my son’s participation in baseball. “Keep at it and you can only get better.” He gives me those looks Moms of any preteen child are familiar with – “Are you kidding??!”.
The LAST thing he wants to hear from me is a critique of his performance. But constructive criticism is key to improving.
I receive constructive criticism all the time – especially when I read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads for my debut novel, Run Like Hell. And yes, I’ve read them ALL. Every time I see a new review posted I hold my breath. It’s scary – I admit. I could get totally bashed (it’s happened!) or come out smelling like roses with a 5-star review. Either way, I take into account what the reviewer has said and make a conscious effort to do better the next time.
My son’s tournament is over, but soon he’ll be on the pitching mound for Fall Ball in August and back at bat. He’s young, and has many more seasons of baseball ahead of him. And many more tournaments to play! This recent loss isn’t the end of his baseball path.
Run Like Hell was my first “tournament” – my best effort written in 2011. I’m still writing and hope to have another book out in a few months, as well as a novella before the end of the year. Anything less than a 5-star or 4-star review won’t discourage me from continuing on this written path I’ve taken.
For writing – as well as baseball – practice and perseverance can only get us that much closer to a home run hit!