Monthly Archives: June 2012

What does lawn bowling have in common with writing? More than you thought.

by Christine Wenzel  @Chris_Wenzel

While temporarily back in Canada we are renting a third floor condo, overlooking a lawn bowling field. I have a full view of the players from the window where I sit and write. It’s not one of those games that captures your attention with action and boisterous shouts of encouragement. Even on tournament days when the field is awash with regal white figures there are no spectators thronged on the sidelines cheering for their team or loved ones.

Writing alone, devoid of onlookers and with plenty of opportunity to observe (get distracted) by the muted action below I found myself forming  feelings of affinity with the players. My appreciation for lawn bowling’s slow motion complexities increased. I started to see a strong connection between it and my writing life. Maybe you will too.

You don’t just decide to take up lawn bowling after years of inactivity.

Many of  the players I see are silver-haired and fit. They move like people who have made a habit of performing activities to sustain agility.

Writers cultivate life-long habits to go the distance. We’ve all heard it; write something every day; create a routine; keep the word flow going.

Lawn bowlers wouldn’t  have the needed flexibility to roll that little ball and writers would not write (well)  without making a conscious effort to avoid stagnation.

Bowls are designed to travel a curved path. They’ll go in a  straight line for some distance then take a turn to the right or left.

Lawn bowlers learn the ‘proper form’ to send the bowl up the green. They control the way it will turn.

A writer understands a storyline can change directions  many times but develops skills to keep a forward momentum towards the words: The End

Some more connections between the two:

  •  can be enjoyed at all ages
  • a strong tendency for stereotyping
  • quietly competitive
  • the more you do it the more consistent you become, it’s important to stick with it.
  • learning the finer points will keep you hooked while you strive for mastery


Filed under A Writer's Life