What Fantasy Sports Taught Me About Writing
Eight takeaways for writers pursuing their creative dreams
What on earth does fantasy hockey have to do with writing?
A lot, actually.
But before I jump into that, let me provide a little backstory.
Mention fantasy league, and most people think of the NFL. But hockey is where it’s at for my family.
It was no surprise, then, that we started a fantasy league this year. My daughter and I were relative newbies to the sport, but we were also quick learners. Our understanding of the game improved almost immediately, as I helped coach a high school rec team and many meal-time conversations centered on rosters, team stats, and which players were injured or out for a game.
I didn’t expect much from this experience, least of all insight into my freelance writing career. Our league was primarily something to do as a family, a last hurrah before my oldest heads off to college in the fall. The first night was as disastrous as I expected. I didn’t know enough to make educated decisions about what I needed to tweak in my approach, so I went to bed, figuring I’d be lucky to win a single week. Six months later, here I am as the winner, with a whopping 20–3–0 record.
Although I could share more about my process for taking down the other teams, that’s not the purpose of this post. Let’s get to the breakdown of what fantasy hockey taught me about writing…
1. Don’t give up.
It’s nothing unique, I know. But with the way I started our season, I could easily have chalked it up to pointless and not put forth the effort. But participation was a big part of the experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It brought the family closer, giving us some common ground during a time in our lives where everybody is running in different directions.
How does this apply to writing? Well, it doesn’t take much time in the trenches to realize it is one of the most isolating and frustrating pastimes, particularly on days when the words just will not flow. But, like me, who started out so terribly in our fantasy league, it’s important to keep at it. You won’t ever reap the rewards of your efforts if you don’t…