Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lessons Writers Can Learn From Throwing Axes by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently my husband, son, and I went to a local axe-throwing establishment. Right off let me say I loved it. Two hours hurling axes at a wooden target and scoring multiple bull’s eyes, what's not to love?
There were groups of all ages and axe throwing abilities. Some of us were newbies and it showed. Others like the bearded, Viking-hair-shaved, kilt wearer who brought his personal bag of axes were obvious pros.
As I threw axes at targets, I realized there are lessons writers can learn from throwing axes.
• In axe throwing if we're going to hit the target, we have to get in the game, grab an axe, step up to the line, and throw the axe toward the target in front of us. As writers, if we want our words to hit the target and find an audience, we need to get in the game, step up to the line, and put our words on the page.
• If we hurl an axe toward the target and it doesn't stick the first, second, even third time, we pick the axe off the floor and throw it again. If our first attempts to hit the publishing target bounce off the wall and land with a solid thud to the ground for all the world to hear, we pick up that manuscript and send it into the publishing world again.
• Just because our axe hits a bull’s eye once doesn't mean we'll score another bull’s eye on the next go round. Nevertheless, we keep trying. We may score an acceptance with one manuscript then miss with the next one we pitch. Nevertheless, we keep trying.
• When we throw the axe and it doesn’t score a bull’s eye, we don't discount the 1s, 2s, and 3s we have scored. All points big and small add up for the grand total. They don’t have to all be bull’s eyes. Each step forward in our writing journey is important no matter how small we may feel it is. We don’t dismiss those which seem insignificant in comparison to our overall goal.
There are no disqualifiers for hitting the target - wooden or written. What truly matters is a willingness to get in the game, grab that axe, step up to the line, and give it our best shot. Over and over and over again. Enjoying each step of the journey along the way.

Sandy Kirby Quandt is a former elementary school educator and full-time writer with a passion for God, history, and travel; passions that often weave their way into her stories and articles. She has written numerous articles, devotions, and stories for adult and children publications. Her devotions appear in two Worthy Publishing compilation books; So God Made a Dog, and Let the Earth Rejoice. She has won several awards for writing including the 85th and 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the Young Adult category, First Place in the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Children’s Literature 2016 Foundation Awards, First Place in the 2017 Foundation Awards in the Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Flash Fiction categories. Looking for words of encouragement or gluten-free recipes? Then check out Sandy’s blog, Woven and Spun.