Every red-blooded American man’s favorite comedic movie (or darn near close) must be Caddyshack.
Among all the classic scenes is the one where Ty Webb instructs a young Danny Noonan to concentrate and just “be the ball” in an effort to help him become a better golfer.
The results were more comedic than impressive, but the lesson is a good one, no matter how far Danny’s chip shot landed from the pin. (“Right in the lumber yard.”)
And it came to mind as I crashed a project this week: a speech for a client that needed a top-to-bottom rewrite in just hours.
I was able to pull it off, to the client’s great delight, because I allowed myself to “be the ball.” I knew this person, cold: his logic, his voice and his factual information, to the point where I felt as though I was writing for myself. I put myself in the room, at the podium, speaking to the group of people he will address. I turned off all external inputs – save for spellcheck – and just wrote what needed to be said.
He was so happy he even allowed me to take a second pass at it this morning, and the results are.. well.. we’ll see tonight when he’s at the mic reading the words I wrote for him. But I think it’s gonna be just fine.
What are your best ways to write?