Fishing and Writing, Pretty Much The Same
I absolutely love the outdoors, always have. Ever since I was a little kid, my family has gone camping. Sometimes just me and my dad, at times we would go with the family, and other times we would go with family friends. I know many people will disagree, but being out in nature is amazing.
I have loads of fond memories from those trips; I’ve been bit by a snake (yes this is a fond memory), caught dozens of horny toads, cut down trees, built forts, roasted marshmallows, played capture the flag, you name it, I’ve probably done it. In addition to all those awesome activities we would go fishing.
Sometimes when we’ve gone fishing we’ve caught dozens of fish. One time, as soon as my sister’s bobber hit the water it went straight under. Bam! Fish. That whole evening was just like that. However, I’ve also had the wonderful experiences fishing even when I’ve been skunked (meaning I didn’t catch a single one, not actually getting skunked). During one such fishing trip some words of wisdom were impart to me.
“It’s called fishing, not catching.” -Someone Cool
So enjoy the fishing. Being outside, talking with friends/family, baiting the hooks, trying new things, testing different areas, casting, casting, and casting again.
Obviously when you catch a fish it’s a great time, I’m not going to deny that. Feeling that line jerk and seeing the bobber dip under the water, it’s exhilarating. Thankfully I’ve caught lots of fish over the years and it makes a fishing trip way more enjoyable.
But if you get hung up on the “catching,” you’re missing out on what it means to go fishing.
If you want to be a writer, write.
When it comes to writing a book, there can be a lot of extra curricular activities associated with it. There is world building, planning out chapters and timing, naming characters, the dreaded editing, and the actual writing.
But, if you call yourself a writer, make sure you spend the time writing.
At one point in my writing group, after all three of us had gotten 20-50 pages written out, an interesting thing started to happen. We went through each other’s writing and gave feedback on plot holes, weak scenes, and poorly structured sentences to name a few. Next thing we know weeks went by where no one had added anything to their story, we were so focused on fixing the things that needed to be fixed, that we stopped writing.
In a few of the writing Facebook groups I’ve joined, I’ve seen people who are so caught up on figuring out one element of their story that they aren’t writing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend time building your world, strengthening your character profiles, or editing the work you’ve already written. Like fishing, if your bait is being eaten, it’s time to catch not just fish.
But if all those elements of the story are keeping you from starting your story, continuing your story, or finishing it, then that might be a problem.
Writer’s block is a real thing though. I get that, no matter how long you stare at the page new words won’t form. I shared some useful tips in my post a couple weeks back, on how to get over that, but it involves writing.
Whatever you do, you’re a writer, so let’s write.
Here’s a couple good fishing quotes, feel free to swap out key words for writing related ones!
“There is always time for one more cast.” -Every Fisherman Ever
“It doesn’t matter if the rod is or isn’t bent. Time spent fishing is time well spent.” -Some old fisherman