How many of you play games with your family and friends?
How many of you use games to relax?
How many of you use games to avoid work?
I play games for all of the reasons above.
I love to play pickleball. It relaxes me, gives me exercise and is a fun time with family and friends.
I play Freecell or Mahjong to avoid work, problems, dealing with something. sigh
My Seeker sisters like to play games.
Tina, author of Rancher's Reunion and Oklahoma Reunion, says, "The only game that matters is Scrabble. I love it and have the Deluxe edition and two types of travel editions. I also play it online."
Cara, author of current release Love By the Book, plays Canasta, Whist Bridge, ping pong, badmitten, and croquet.
Most of us have played games and we all like to win.
( I won those medals last week at the Pickleball Tournament in Bend, Oregon. Two gold and one bronze.)
If you aren't out to win, then really, why play?
So have you ever thought of writing as a game? A game you want to win?
I like to think of writing as a game.
There are rules to follow.
Grammar rules (Just ask the Grammar Queen)
Guidelines for each genre
Contracts to abide by
You need to practice to become an expert.
Read in your genre
Write, write, write
Critique, revise, edit
You have goals to strive toward
Words per day
Time frames to write
Winning involves a prize
Recognition-Best Sellers List
So are you willing to do all that it takes to win?
When I first started writing at the age of twelve, which is when I wrote 150 single-spaced pages of what today is my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure after reading Gone With the Wind, my favorite games were Miss Popularity and Barbie, Queen of the Prom, which pretty much nailed my approach to writing in the beginning. Beautiful girl meets beautiful guy, sparks fly and Barbie ends up with Ken for life.
In my late teens, my writing was akin to another favorite game of mine called Risk, because that is exactly how I played the writing game, taking risks with edgy and frank poems and being somewhat of a literary rebel. But some forty years later, I am a lot wiser and certainly more subdued (hard to believe, I know!) person whose writing life kind of feels like Chutes and Ladders -- up one day, down the next, climbing the ladder of success before I sail down the slide to reality.
Now with three years under my belt as a published author, I'm finally starting to see my writing life like dominoes -- it's God's plan and design how and where the dominoes go, looping and swirling in an anointed design to bring people to Him. I am only one, single domino and it is His anointing and grace that allows me to be part of a wonderful chain reaction that whooshes through people's lives, touching them with the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit when each and every domino falls in line with His plan and purpose. And the good news when you play God's game? Everybody is a winner!
And Julie is so right on.
Isn't life itself a game?
A game full of challenges, twists and turns, rules and guidelines?
And don't we want to win?
Remember though, we don't always win every game. But that doesn't mean we quit. We just bring out the pieces and start again.
Janet's analogy of writing as a game brings out that very point. Janet, author of Wanted A Family, says: I like to play bridge. A game where the players strategize, not just depend on luck. Though things like the cards bridge players are dealt are out of our control. Events in publishing such as the opening and closing of lines or an editor just buying a story similar to yours are things over which the author has no control. However both a bridge player and a writer can strategize. The strategies that the bridge player and writer hone will make a difference in whether they win or lose. As writers we strategize to hook an editor and hopefully garner a sale. In bridge you need to know how to bid, the risks you will take to get the contract. Yes, the winning bid is called the contract. J In writing we decide the genre, where the story will go, what kind of risk/effort we will take/make to get that publishing contract.
In bridge, if I get the bid, I strategize how to play the cards to make the most of my hand. In writing we strategize to see how to get the most emotion out of the story, how to add twists and turns that keep the reader turning pages, all those things we do that will help us write the best story we can.
A bridge player needs to know how to defend against the opponents we’re up against. In writing I see opponents as negative people in our lives who oppose our goal. But opponents can also be those mistakes new authors make that keep them from a sale. Craft issues like too much back story that slows the pace are kind of self-defeating practices we must overcome if we hope to win.
Remember in bridge as in writing, losing is part of the game. In bridge when we lose, we deal the cards again. Hopefully having learned how to do it better next time. In writing, we write another story, hopefully having learned something from the rejection. Losing does not a loser make.
Please comment and tell us your take on games and share with us your favorite games. We'll have a drawing from the comments. The winner will have their choice of:
Price of Victory, my new release from Avalon.
Or a copy of one of her children's books. Your choice.
And since we're still in this heat wave, I put out a table with a selection of iced coffees, iced frapuccinos, iced teas including peach and raspberry flavored tea, fresh fruit smoothies, and chocolate milkshakes (made the old-fashioned way)
On a bed of cracked ice we have a variety of fresh fruits. I'm here in Oregon where we have yummy fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apricots. I also have bowls of figs, plums, blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, oranges and apples. There is a large bowl filled with slices of different melons including watermelon, cantelop, honeydew and casaba.
Stay cool and best wishes on that game of writing you are playing today.