Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zen Golf

Zen Golf

My daughter has been struggling with her golf game lately, so I picked up the book, Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent in hopes that it might help the mental aspect of her game. Anyway, while I was waiting for my husband at the train station I began reading Zen Golf and found myself twenty pages into the book by the time my husband knocked on the car window. Okay, so you might be wondering... how does Zen Golf relate to writing?

Examples from Dr. Parent's book:

1) Think outside the box (for example a golfer might intentionally hit into the rough because it gives him a better approach shot to the green) This advice reminded me that allowing a character to act "outside the box" adds another layer of depth to the characterization and makes the character more intriguing.

2) Par for the course (sometimes a golfer needs to set their own par for each hole for that particular day on the golf course. The golfer will become more relaxed when he approaches a difficult hole because he knows he has an extra stroke or two to make his personal par.) There are times I feel pressured into writing or revising a set number of pages a day--if I don’t make that goal, I see it as a failure. But if I set my page goal a little lower I guarantee myself success. If I exceed my goal--even better.

Dr. Parent believes Confidence is necessary to succeed at Golf--the same goes for writing.

1) Conditional Confidence (This kind of confidence depends on recent results on the golf course. A golfer is confident on the condition that he or she continues to play well.) I'm guilty of this. I catch myself feeling more confident after reading a great review of one of my books and less confident when I read a not-so-complimentary review.

2)Unconditional Confidence (Dr. Parent says unconditional confidence arises from connecting with our basic goodness. We believe in ourselves as decent people and in our golfing skills for our level of play.) As a writer I should be able to handle whatever the result of my latest book's success is or isn't. With unconditional confidence my self-worth as a human being doesn’t depend on how well or poorly my next book sells.

How about you--what kind of self-help books have you found useful?

Samantha's Cowboy (August 09)
A Cowboy Christmas (December 09)


Lynn said...

I haven't read many self help books lately. I'm not at a point where I want to examine my life closer. But I loved your post about golf. I love the comment about thinking outside of the box and setting your own par. When I think of writing a book, I scare myself. When I think of writing for 30 minutes or 500 words a day, I don't go crazy.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. I have a grandson that is starting out to learn the game of golf and I plan to pass these tips on to him.
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com said...

Hi Marin:

I too enjoyed reading your adaptation of Dr. Parent's golf tips for writers. We often hear from readers who say "this book would work great for [insert topic of your choice]" and it's nice seeing how you were able to adapt the concepts to your profession. Of course, I hope you ended up getting another copy for your daughter (lol) and that the lessons have resonated as well for her as they did for you. Please visit us at!

Ken Zeiger
Program Director
Zen Golf International