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Lucky to be Writing
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Mark Terry's entry at This Writing Life caught my eye because it is about both writing and baseball. Mark mentions that he is focussing on writing today and that made him think of the movie, The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid, about a pitcher who blew out his arm as a young man but unexpectedly managed to make it to the major leagues, ten years after he figured his career had ended. Mark says that at one point in the movie, after Morris has started his comeback in the minors:

"...he and his fellow minor leaguers are kind of in the dumps, and Quaid shows up kind of perky the next morning (and he wasn't usually) and said something along the lines of, "Guess what we get to do today, boys and girls? We get to play baseball!"


Guess what I get to do today, boys and girls?


The movie is based on the true story of Jim Morris who made it to the major leagues ten years after his career had apparently ended.

As it turned out, he only pitched in a handful of games that year and the next before his arm gave out again. Writers can have all the talent in the world but never find their manuscripts in the right place at the right time. Pitchers never know when a ligament or a tendon or a rotator cuff is going to go. In both cases no amount of hard work and sacrifice will overcome bad luck, or perhaps, to be more realistic about it, a simple lack of enough good luck. Being published or appearing in a major league game are goals that are never achieved, even once, by most of us who grow up with such dreams.

At whatever level we find ourselves, it is easy to be disappointed. Mary and I are not with a big New York publisher. But we should be grateful to have had a novel published, to have stories published. As I spend today working on revisions for sevenfer I need to remind myself that I am lucky that I am able to write with the knowledge that at least one editor -- even if only one -- is going to be reading my words and actually taking them seriously.

The writing profession being what it is, we should count ourselves lucky if we can find a few readers someplace, or even if we can find the time to write at all. As Mark says, hey today we get to write!

Having not seen the movie, I'm not sure what sort of message The Rookie conveyed. I would imagine that in reality Jim Morris was thrilled that he made it to The Show, no matter how short his stay.

But of course he did sell the movie rights.

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