Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Swing and a Miss

107 Comments

Hole in one“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Seventeen years ago, I played my first round of golf. Unlike many sports, golf is not a team sport; it’s you against the course. As I stood on the tee box, I adjusted my golf glove and prepared myself to hit my first shot. Behind us, I noticed a foursome of men waiting and I got a nervous. I addressed the ball, swung and I missed. In golf, that’s referred to as a “whiff.”

When I began to submit my writing to contests and magazines, I was reminded of that amateur golfer on the first tee box. There was no way to hide my inability, I was completely exposed. It was difficult to leave my comfort zone, hiding behind my laptop. I was no longer writing for my eyes only, I had opened the door for rejection, criticism, but eventually I entered the door to publication.

On July 27, 2002, I had my first and only hole-in-one. I realized so much of it was luck, the ball had to bounce just right and the green had to break perfectly toward the hole. However, if I had given up after that first whiff, I would have never experienced that incredible feeling. When I had my first short story published in 2012, it was more hard work than luck, but like that hole-in-one, it was a great surprise.

Have you ever swung and missed?

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

107 thoughts on “Swing and a Miss

  1. I remember the first (and last time) I played golf. My grandparents took me when I was little and they only had left-handed clubs for me. I was right handed. Man was that a long day. They wouldn’t let me quit until I finished all 18 holes. I was out there for hours. Not sure why they did that.

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    • Sorry to butt in here Jill, but had to ask TB, were you put off golf for life after this experience? Not surprised if you were. It’s strange though because I’m left-handed, left-footed, all the way, yet I’ve always held any clubs or bats the right-handed way for some reason. I wouldn’t have wanted to use those left-handed golf clubs either!! That must have been a nightmare for you.

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      • I agree, Sherri…what a nightmare…poor girl!

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      • I love a good game of put put, but haven’t golfed for real. Not sure if this story is the only reason. Not too big on the idea of carrying my clubs and such. I was more into soccer and tennis is my younger days.

        Didn’t know you’re a lefty. I had to write left-handed for about a year. Broke my right thumb twice in the 5th grade. I was very accident prone and never had any cool injuries. Some people can say I was climbing a mountain and broke my leg. I get to say, I slipped on a wet kitchen floor and broke my thumb. I can’t remember how I broke it the second time. I now know when it’s going to rain.

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      • Ouch!! That must have hurt though, mountain climbing or not! Bet that thumb of yours is playing you up now with all this rain lashing down …again!…as I type this.

        I suffered the indignity once of slipping off the pavement (sidewalk!) and falling down on my knees, bum in the air, right in the middle of our town’s high street. My mobile phone skidded across the road and I was more worried about getting it back! I didn’t break anything though…only my pride πŸ˜‰

        Oh, and Aspie D thought it was hilarious, bless her πŸ˜‰

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    • My commiserations too TBM – maybe your grandparents were showing you how hard life can be!

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    • Brutal! Actually, I might have to try that, it might lower my handicap. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

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  2. Everyday! But I have so much fun swinging the club, I keep going back for more, even after i miss!

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  3. What a great analogy, Jill! I’ve never played golf, but I’m thinking that plenty of skill went into that first hole-in-one πŸ™‚

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  4. Well I don’t play golf, but I do play volleyball and there’s plenty of opportunities to miss in that game! With writing, I miss some and I hit some. The hits keep me going! Great analogy. Good luck with your writing… and with your golf x

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  5. Wow! Amazing experience and trophy pic! You’ll never forget that! Thank you for sharing such a memorable victory! I’m thinking like 1WriteWay, “plenty of skill went into that first hole-in-one.”
    Yes, I’ve gone out with my husband and have found just hitting the ball is a skill.

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    • It was exciting, Georgette, but I can’t say it was skill. I’m a hacker when it comes to golf and that shot was pure luck. Believe me, 1WriteWay has more skill with her knitting than I’ll ever have in my golf game.
      Golf is a great activity for couples to do together, even if you do swing and miss.
      Enjoy the Olympics!

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  6. Great use of extended metaphor Jill. I’ve swung and missed so many times I’ve given up counting, but I’m still here, still enjoying writing and still too lazy to keep submitting stuff on a regular basis. That’s where the writing group is good – we give each other a good shove every now and then. Happy weekend πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Jenny! The fact that we’re still there after the swings and misses is the important thing. I’m so happy you’ve found a writing group that keeps you swinging. Have a great weekend! Keep walking!

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      • Oh yes, I am! meant to say – congratulations on your hole in one – awesome! Does that mean you have to buy everyone at the bar a drink? That’s the tradition here. My husband plays golf and has yet to hit that elusive hole in one. He plays every week and was mortified when our son joined him (as he does occasionally) and hit a hole in one. Because at that time our son was too young to buy a round of drinks, his Dad had to shell out for him. We’ve tried to get him to play golf regularly as he shows a real aptitude for it (like his tennis, too), but he’s quite content to play both now and again and win without any apparent effort. How galling is that πŸ™‚

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      • Thanks for the kudos on the hole-in-one, Jenny! For me, it really was just luck. How thrilling for your son to get one at a young age. I’m sure your husband was proud, but he was probably wondering, “why not me?” I’m amazed by the abilities of the young golfers I see on the course. I hope your son continues to play. You should go out and play with your husband sometime. It’s a great thing for couples to do together.

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  7. Well Jill, the only golf I’ve ever played is Crazy Golf (or Miniature Golf I think it’s called in the States if I remember correctly?) And I was useless at that, so what does that tell you??? I’ve ‘whiffed’ many times in so many ways.
    Thank goodness you kept going and didn’t give up. I need to remember this but I also need to actually get submitting again! Although I am working on my book you will be pleased to know, honestly… πŸ™‚
    As always, you inspire me to keep going, no matter how many times I swing and miss.
    Have a wonderful weekend Jill, you and Derek from Devon both πŸ™‚

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    • I used to love crazy golf Sherri – we played it on holiday in the south of France when Son was small, where at first we’d LET him win, and then as he got really good at it, tried hard to beat him!

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      • Oh Jenny, isn’t crazy golf the best!! Ha ha! I was never any good at it! I must tell you though, we were in Bournemouth this weekend, haven’t been for years (used to live near there once upon a time) and as we walked through the gardens I noticed a crazy golf course there, but it was far too cold to even consider it… πŸ˜‰

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    • Crazy Golf…I love that, Sherri! I’m learning so much from you and Jenny. πŸ™‚
      I’m so happy to hear you’re working on your book, Sherri. I have no doubt it won’t be a miss! You have a wonderful weekend too! Derek from Devon says hi. We’ve been enjoying some of the Olympic games.

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      • Thanks Jill & Derek from Devon (although only just getting back to blogging since Friday!) and yes, same here, love the winter Olympics, particularly the ice dancing and figure skating. Hope you had a good weekend and have a great week to come… x

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  8. I believe our first attempt at anything is usually a swing and miss. I used to do a lot of public speaking and I entered some contests. I couldn’t believe how hard that was but eventually I could stand up and speak to anybody about anything for hours (poor husband). My favorite sport was racquetball. I wasn’t very athletic but I did get good enough to beat the guys. Very good feeling!

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    • That’s so true, Kate. I give you a lot of credit, when it comes to public speaking. I don’t think I could ever get comfortable with that. Now racquetball, I could do. I played a lot in college and I loved it. We should start playing again. Enjoy the weekend! I hope it’s not another snowy weekend for you guys.

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  9. Well, the good news about not getting published is no one remembers. It’s not like some editor is sitting there thinking, “Remember that story from so-and-so that was submitted two years ago? What a train wreck!” Fortunately, we writers get rejected in anonymity. We just have to keep plowing and hope the stars align at some point. A lot of really talented people go unpublished, with is depressing and comforting at the same time.

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    • I agree, Eric, many talented people go unpublished. Some write for themselves and publication isn’t the primary goal. I fall into that category and I will take a guess, you do as well. Have a great and I hope, snowless weekend!

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  10. Reminds me of when I went to the driving range and tried to putt. Oh my. Talk about swinging and missing. . . . There’s a first time for everything, I guess.
    Yes, in publishing, I have swung and missed more times than I can count. I ran across two piles of rejection letters last week. I would have more of those if I submitted more or if I printed the emailed rejections. (Things are so different now.) But nothing beats a failure but a try as they say.

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    • Lol…there’s a lot of swinging and missing going on at the driving range. I remember one time, while playing a round of golf, I actually whiffed my putt…not an easy thing to do and very embarrassing. πŸ™‚
      Well said, Linda! We do need to keep trying, failure is when we stop. Happy Weekend! Stay safe on the roads.

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  11. I’m great at swinging and missing. It just makes connecting that much more sweeter! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the reminder of all that’s involved in getting those holes in one. Have a great weekend Jill!!

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    • I’m pretty good at the swings and misses myself, Phillip. I’ve had a lot of practice.
      You have a great weekend as well. I know you’re busy packing for the move, but try and relax a little. πŸ™‚

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  12. Great analogy! I like how you start your blog posts with an anecdote from your life. Hooks me right away. As it happens I gave up after my first whiff at golf. I suck at sports, and I have made peace with that. Writing, however, is important to me, so no matter how many times I miss (and I have missed many times), I keep trying.

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    • Thanks, Rajni! Lol…I love your honesty. I’m not great at sports either. A hole-in-one doesn’t equal good at golf, at least in my case. πŸ™‚
      Your determination recently paid off with the publication of your short story. Well done, Rajni, I loved it! Keep writing!

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  13. Congratulations on getting that first story published! Better than a hole in one. πŸ™‚

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  14. A golfer I’m not, Jill. My husband took me to a golf course a couple times when we were much younger, but I just couldn’t get into it. In fact, I ended up making us both miserable. Chalk it up to a learning experience. Probably the only sport I can do relatively well is running. I’m terrible at any game involving a ball. My first attempt at writing a novel was a huge swing-and-miss, but I have a feeling most writers are in the same boat. Most endeavors in life require repeated practice before we can claim any degree of proficiency. I enjoy putting in the time to improve my writing. Sports, not so much. Congrats on your hole in one — even if it’s largely luck, it’s still impressive.

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    • Thanks, Gwen! Since I was only aiming for the green and not necessarily the hole, I would say it was luck.
      When I took my first series of golf lessons my instructor told me about muscle memory, as it relates to golf. This is when a movement is repeated over time and results in long-term muscle memory being created for the swing. I think being disciplined with our writing requires a level of muscle memory. As you said, repeated practice is the only way to develop proficiency.
      You and your husband should try golfing together, now that you’re older. It really is a great activity to enjoy together. An added bonus is you can continue to play late in life, unlike many sports. My parents are in their mid-seventies and they still play together. Of course, you might need to relocate to Arizona…less snow! Enjoy the weekend!

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  15. During my first and only round of golf my ball ended up on the wrong green – I wondered why I got shouted at when I played a perfect chip from there onto the proper green πŸ™‚ Never again.

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  16. A HOLE IN ONE!!! All the years I played, NOT ONE!

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  17. Have I ever swung and missed? more times than I care to remember πŸ™‚ In sport, business and definitely in writing. One of my all-time favourite quotes is ‘leap and the net will appear’ and for the longest time it was my mantra and it helped me start my first business (which failed miserably). The important thing is I started a business. Then I started ‘the novel’ which was rejected by (what feels like) every literary agent under the sun but I did get feedback – lots of constructive feedback from some amazing agents – so that’s a positive. So I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m still swinging…hoping for that hole in one.

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    • I like that mantra, Yolanda! Yes, the important thing is that you did start a business and you started that novel, which resulted in the constructive feedback. It’s all about keeping things in perspective, I guess. We never know what we’re capable of unless we try. You’ll get that hole-in-one! Enjoy the weekend!

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  18. I am not a golf player but I have definitely swung and missed on many occasions! I would say that most of my misses have been when it comes to parenting. There is so much swinging as you try to do the best you can, sometimes swinging with your eyes closed. A lot of missing is involved, but every once in a while you can admire your hole in one and feel proud that you gave it your all. πŸ™‚ We gotta keep swimming & swinging!

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    • I think I know you pretty well, Maria and I would say you’ve hit more holes-in-one than missed, when it comes to parenting. You’ve got great kids. You and Mr. Brickhouse should both be proud. Yes, we must keep on swinging, swimming and enjoying life…it’s our one shot! Enjoy the weekend!

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  19. Part of me feels cross with that group of men for putting you off… but part of me realises that is life and we have to keep going despite our set backs, not to forget our determination and learn from what we have left behind.

    I am always swinging and missing!

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    • Thanks Denise. Those men did make me nervous, of course I can’t blame them for my inability when it comes to my golf game. πŸ™‚
      That’s a great point, we do need to learn from what we’ve left behind. It’s a much better attitude than living with regret.
      Happy Weekend!

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  20. My life is a litany of swings and misses – but it’s all about practise isn’t it! I have come to see we only experience the pain of a ‘miss’ when we believe that ‘hitting’ is the only possible outcome that is good for us. Life is all about the journey …… and enjoying those holes in one! πŸ™‚

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    • Well said, Pauline! I think you definitely made a hit when you turned your old business cards into beautiful pieces of artwork. Life is all about the journey and sharing it with the wonderful people we meet along the way…so happy we met. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  21. A great analogy Jill, reminding us of all the factors that need to come together to give us writing (and sporting) success. Yes, I’ve definitely swung and missed, but that makes the hits so much sweeter.

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  22. I not a great golfer, Jill, and I’ve also whiffed before. There’s no better feeling than nailing something after working so hard to get it right πŸ˜€

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    • You may not be a golfer, but you’re an excellent writer and typist… look, no typos! πŸ™‚ You’re right, Dianne, we often forget about the hard work that goes into something when the end result is a hit. Enjoy the weekend!

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  23. I love this. I’m a golfer, who has never had a hole in one, and I love the reminder to keep swinging…..in golf and in writing. Thanks.

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  24. I swing and miss ALL the time, Jill. πŸ™‚ Wonderful analogy!

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  25. Hi Jill, lots of hits and misses for me. I’ve learned the most from those misses.
    I like your determination- keep writing, keep submitting.
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  26. LOL…Yeah, I’ve swung and missed about a thousand times. Aren’t you glad you stuck with it? πŸ™‚ As for golf I’ve never played, although there is a large golf course here in town where I can play for free. I think I’d like it if I ever found the time to try.

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    • Yes, like you, I’ve swung and missed so many times, I’ve lost count. πŸ™‚ I am glad I’ve stuck with it. Free golf! Wow, I’ve never heard of that. Golf can be time consuming, but if you can get out on a nice day, nine holes doesn’t take too long to play. I highly recommend it, Elizabeth. Being on the golf course has always been relaxing for me. Happy Weekend!

      On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 6:26 PM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

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  27. Jill – you have such a talent for connecting the writing life to other aspects of living. A swing and a miss – more than a few. For years all I wanted was to have real letters after my name. At first I thought BA would be enough, but once I got close to having that, MA started to sound pretty good and, as you can imagine, near the end of that journey, PhD started to have a wonderful ring to it. But that last swing was, as far as the institute of higher learning goes, was definitely a miss. I found that I didn’t have the ‘whole package’ going for me to compete at the upper levels of the ivory tower. I don’t regret a moment of the swing and I don’t mind the miss.

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    • What a compliment, Francis…thank you. It’s funny how much importance we give degrees. Recently I heard an interview that completely changed my perspective on what we accomplish in life. This person said he didn’t care what he was remember for when he passed, it was if he was missed after he was gone. You’ve got the whole package in my book, Francis!

      On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 8:28 PM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

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  28. Hundreds of form rejection emails and letters over years of writing. Yeah, I swung and missed so many times I should have worn out my rotator cuff. πŸ˜‰ I’d like to say it gets better but then I did an event where people are just downright rude and dismissive and realized writing is constant rejection peppered with a few key moments of acceptance.

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    • Lol…let’s hope we don’t tear our rotator cuff with all these swings, I’ve heard it’s pretty painful. We’ve had our fair share of pain with our back issues, Kourtney. Rude people, stink! I’m sorry you had to endure rudeness at an event…that’s just wrong. Happy Sunday!

      On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 11:05 AM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

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      • So true Jill. Yeah, it’s tough when people treat you badly and you have to grin and bear it because you’re selling something. I’m definitely rethinking events where people aren’t there specifically to buy books or attend a workshop/author talk. Those events go well even if sales are slow. Happy weekend! πŸ™‚

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      • I’m sure you’ll figure out the best way to sell your book and keep the mean people out. I hate that you’ve had to experience that, Kourtney.

        On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

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  29. A hole-in-one EVER is pretty awesome, Jill! While golf didn’t work out for me (the one time I played I was told I couldn’t talk until we went to pick up our balls – and my ball was NEVER in the same direction as my three golf mates – was a rather lonely, mosquito-swatting experience) I think the analogy is spot on!

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    • Thanks, Shel! No talking! You need different golf mates, Shel. You shouldn’t talk when a player is taking their swing or putting, but in between those shots, you can chat. Golf should be a social game, but yes, depending on where you play, you might need some bug repellent.

      On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

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  30. Yes, to some extent I think I “swung and missed” when I published my own nonfiction book — I sometimes think I could have secured a deal for it if I’d been a bit better at marketing. But now I’m so engrossed in music that it doesn’t matter so much to me, and the whole process was fun and left me with a better sense of what I wanted.

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  31. As a writer who still has many whiffle-ball swings and misses, I’ve learned to wear those rejections and losses as badges of honor. How else will we learn…and earn our way to the hole-in-one?
    You did a terrific job of joining the two ‘sports’ and reminding us of all the risks and injuries and practices and perseverance writing requires.

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  32. Ugh, too many to mention here, though they might make for a good blog post of my own someday πŸ™‚ As for writing, my bit swing and a miss was my first attempt back in the late eighties, after which I took a two decade break. And that was a big mistake. I’m glad to be back at it.

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  33. I love his picture.. πŸ™‚

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  34. Oh yes, more times than I care to mention or even think about! But I hope to be doing a lot more swinging in the near future.

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  35. Not a golfer – sigh! But nobody hits their mark 100% of the time. And if we did, I doubt we would appreciate those little victories as much. Keep on swinging though.

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  36. I like the analogy. Yes, I’ve definitely swung and missed. I haven’t put my work out there perhaps as much as I should, but as I’ve gained more confidence and experienced those incredible hole-in-one moments, it’s become easier to take the risk. Keep swinging, Jill. It will happen. πŸ™‚

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  37. Jill, what a great analogy. Well, um, I think I swing and miss all the time. And I take a lot of “golf” classes and don’t get out to play very often. I’m feeling down this week. Very overwhelmed with work and it’s keeping me from writing–for weeks now–and I’m getting more and more frustrated. So that makes me think I am a big swinger-and-misser. Or maybe I am ;).

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    • Thanks, Luanne. I didn’t know you were a golfer…another thing we have in common. Unfortunately I don’t get out much myself and we have a course in our backyard…no excuses really, just not enough time I guess. I’m sorry to hear you’re overwhelmed with work. Try not to stress too much about not having time to write, sometimes life gets in our way. xo

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      • Haha, I am not a golfer. I was trying to use it as a metaphor ;). However, I did take golf lessons about . um, 17 years ago, coincidentally. I was enjoying it until I developed carpal tunnel. Of course, I was doing that at the same time as getting back into tennis and my tennis partner had a really hard ball to return . . . .

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      • Lol…I kind of thought that Luanne, but since we have so much in common, I took a chance. Ugh, carpal tunnel…I never experienced it with golf, but I have with writing. Like you, I played a lot of tennis during my college years. I always hated those hard ball returns. My reflexes were never fast enough.

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      • I wasn’t a great tennis player at all, but I was getting respectable. I beat my husband (not a tennis player) once and was very pleased with myself ;). But a hard return like this friend had–ugh. Horrible. And she was so serious about tennis . . ..

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  38. Hi Jill. Lots of swings and misses for me too. I think it happens in life and this is how we learn to do our best. I have not tried golf but I was a track and field person. I was very good in all it’s activities but I tried playing base ball and boy I failed miserably. Totally gave up after that. As far as writing is concerned I have had my fair share of hits and misses, specially with my investigative journalism. But I keep going after learning valuable lessons from those experiences. These failures do not disappoint me but add to my growth and knowledge as a writer. It is so true that after the failure the success that follows is very sweet and we cherish those beautiful moments forever. Wonderful post my friend. Take care and God bless.

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    • Hi Samina! Learning as we go is the most important thing. I can’t help but remember what I heard frequently growing up, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I know you’re following that motto with your investigative journalism and with each submission you’re learning. Keep it up, Samina…you’re heading in the right direction.

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  39. I play hit and miss with my teen every single day. Somedays I am on target but most days I have to adjust my swing and or my stance. And above all I have to keep trying to connect. Fortunately the work is not all that hard and it is very rewarding.
    A hole in one? I’ve always thought that would be the coolest thing ever and I don’t even golf.

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    • I think all of our days are filled with hit and misses. I’m sure the work involved with raising a teenager is very rewarding, far more than a hole in one. My hole in one experience was kind of cool, but I could never repeat it on demand. πŸ™‚

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  40. I know how hard it can be to get short stories published. It’s definitely more hard work than luck, but I think luck has something to do with it too. The good thing about it is that it’s easy to get used to the rejections after a while. Congratulations on getting your short stories published!

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    • Thanks, Sheila! I guess it felt more like luck because I entered a contest for fun and that fun turned into publication.
      You’re right, rejection does get easier, but that’s okay.
      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really enjoyed your interview with Kourtney, great job!

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