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Like many people, I found the game of golf to be irksome. Actually, it doesn’t take so long for the beginner to reach a level

of proficiency that is encouraging. The game is exciting at that point, the challenge clearly defined, and progress positive. But that is the hook.

At some point, be it weeks or months the confident golfer strides to the first tee, shanks the drive, and there follows a travesty of such proportions that onlookers may wonder if the golfer had ever learned to play in the first place.

With his confidence shattered, the golfer continues the effort week after week but fails. He has lost the mental game along with his stroke. There is no cure now but to return to the basics, the training that launched him in the first place.

I have found a similar point in my writing. But it’s not the creative aspects that are lost, it’s the single-minded purpose and disciplined focus with which I began that is gone. Somewhere along the line, with a book or two published, I had allowed myself to take

on too many projects. It is a simple trap; at the height of proficiency it all seems very easy. So why not begin a second project, or a third. Why not shift my time to marketing. After all, when it’s time to write, it will flow as it has always done.

Well, that’s the rub. The time to write is gone, buried somewhere beneath all the other demands that my new projects have birthed. New deadlines have appeared, all of them urgent. The time allocated for real creative writing has dwindled to the point that the time I spend at it may actually do more harm than good.

Like the golfer, it is time for a seismic shift. When I began writing, I had one work firmly in mind, one novel that I thought about night and day. There was no other. The work had my undivided attention.

It is time for me to find that place again. My writing must have my full focus. It must own the best part of each day. I must reclaim my game. All else can wait for those bits and pieces of the remainder of my day. I can see now that I have disarmed the urgency that once accompanied them; for I had created it myself.

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