My late-night forays in recent weeks have turned me into a pitcher. I've been throwing essays at some editors, fiction at others, and have chucked a fair number of book proposals, articles, poems, and humor toward the publisher's plate, too. Most have landed in the dirt, but I've thrown some strikes.
Of course, there's always the chance that an editor will shake off a sign and want me to pitch something else. But a guy like me is used to changing it up. After being married for twenty-seven years to a woman who changes her mind every morning, I never say to an editor, "But yesterday you told me you wanted me to be more romantic and cook chicken for dinner . . . what gives?"
No, I just smile, load up another fast ball, and throw again.
Naturally, whenever an editor does give me the nod (like the two who said "Yes" some weeks back and mailed me tiny checks yesterday so I can buy a creme-filled donut) it's a good day. And whenever Becky says "Yes" it's a good month. Heck, it's a good year!
Writers must master the art of the pitch if they are to earn any called strikes. One has to be able to throw an arsenal of pitches in order to get the attention of these deadbeat editors. The curve ball, the change-up, the fast ball, even, occasionally, the spitter . . . it's important to keep chucking pitches toward the home plate. If a writer doesn't pitch, there's no hope for a win. Gotta throw something. Gotta stay warmed up (write every day!). Gotta master at least one or two pitches and keep perfecting them. Stop tossing what doesn't work.
Pitching isn't necessarily fun. But it's necessary.
And I do hope Becky will wear that umpire uniform from time to time. I think the cleats are sexy.