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Good writing is supposed to be hard

Writing is life to a writer, but sometimes life is hard.

Have you ever had a day when the words just didn’t seem to flow? Despite daily deadlines and midnight brainstorms, wordsmithing can be downright deadly at times. Maybe that’s what makes writing worthwhile.

Remember Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” from 1992? One of my favorite scenes in this baseball film takes place off the diamond, but it’s a gem.

Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis), Rockford Peaches team star, is trying to quit baseball. Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks), the hard-luck manager and former home-run hitter, stops her in the driveway.

“It’s just too hard,” Dottie says.

“It’s supposed to be hard,” replies the coach. “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

Click here to watch the video clip on YouTube.

Maybe writing is a bit like baseball. Real writing is not supposed to be easy. If it were simple, would the best words be worth reading? Would creative writing and journalism classes be necessary? Would English teachers bother to assign essays and compositions?

And would real writers find employment?

I’ve made my living in language – mostly because it’s not as easy as it may appear. So have many of my best colleagues. And the field is still open, for those who can train and play hard.

Batter up!

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A League of Their Own screenshot

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