Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Blogger Megan Oliphant:The Sweet Spot

sweet spot–noun; Sports. the spot on a club, racket, bat, etc., where a ball is most effectively hit.

I love this definition.  Athletes, especially professional ones, practice for hours everyday finding that sweet spot. They repeat the motions over and over, replicating the same muscle movement, finding the perfect zone in their concentration, searching for the same spot every time. All to create a home run, or a hole in one, or an ace.

The part that sticks out to me the most and is the most applicable to me as a writer is "...most effectively hit". How do I find my own sweet spot in the work I do everyday as a writer? How can I "most effectively hit" the ball that is my writing?

The answer is obvious: practice, practice, practice. We do that in real life as well, as we rear children and grow in the gospel. A child does not become a contributing member of society, with all the good habits and attributes we hope for them without daily practice at things like telling the truth, not procrastinating, work first and play later. No one expects a man to become the prophet without having practiced the necessary things to be in tune with God: prayer, scripture study, and repentance.

As a writer, we have to be willing to put in the time. To ponder and concentrate on our craft. For some that means having your behind in front of your computer the same time everyday. For others, it may mean taking every stolen moment to write another sentence, or outline another scene.

But as Latter-Day Saint women, we have an added bonus: we have the Lord on our side. Each of us have felt called to this work. It is the thing that we know we are to do to contribute to beauty, to the "virtuous, lovely, and of good report" things in this world. We know that just like for the most important job we have, being a mother, we can call on our Heavenly Father for support, help, comfort, and to just find the right words to say.

And isn't that what we want, as writers? To find the right words to put down on the page? So along with the things that published writers preach, like writing everyday, having a comfortable place to write, limit distractions, associate with other writers, etc., we should make it a practice to ask our Father in Heaven, before we begin our writing practice, to help us find our own sweet spot. Somehow, I think if we add this step, if you haven't already, that sweet spot will be easier to find and our own home runs easier to achieve.

Thanks again for this opportunity!
Megan Oliphant
Visit Megan at her blog, A Writer's Work is Never Done


  1. I love the term "The Sweet Spot"! That is perfect.

    Great post and good luck!

  2. Megan,
    Great comparison. That has given me something to think about today. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I thought this was a great analogy. I can tell when I write "in the zone." I forget I'm writing and everything just flows! That's a place I want to get to more often.

  4. I like the way you combined the analogy with our goals as writers and related it all back to the gospel.



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