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?