Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

A Look Back… Twice

I Put Part of This Up On a Blog in 2013…

Ten years ago. But tonight I was also thinking about the decade ahead class that is in its last ten weeks (you can sign up for it and go through it at any time, just ten more weeks of new stuff but all weekly videos are all still there.)

Ten years ago I put this blog up about a time in my life fifty years ago. I am a lot of decades ahead from 1973, thats for sure…

There is also a brand new five-story driving range opening up within a mile walk of our place, so I am thinking about seeing if an old golfer with bad eyes can still hit a golf ball or not. Kris wants me to film it and I might. Should be funny.

So one thing about thinking 10 years out, doing something now and wondering what would happen if this goes on, I left that golf world because one day in 1974 I asked myself the question “What if this goes one?”

What would I be doing in ten years?

And I quit my head professionals’ job a month later and went back to college. The answer for the kid in the picture below scarred hell out of me.

If you are doing something (or nothing) with your writing now and are not happy, ask yourself “What if this goes on?” And you don’t like the answer, then change what you are doing now.

If I had stayed a golf professional for ten more years after the picture below, I never would have gone back to school, more than likely I would have had a horrid drinking problem, I never would have been a writer. Thankfully, I didn’t hesitate when I answer that question in 1974.

Here is the original short blog from 2013 and a picture of me. I got out of that world. Guess I was smarter than I looked in that picture.


In the lecture on Heinlein’s Rules, I talk about my writing years between 1975 and 1982. But frighteningly enough, I had a couple of professions before I took up writing while in architecture and then law school. I was an avid skier and golfer, but in 1971 I quit skiing and teaching skiing and freestyle skiing and went fully to golf, turning professional in 1972.

Yeah, I know, hard to imagine me as a golf professional looking at pictures of me now. But I was pretty good in those days. (I got worse every year for decades after those years. They were my peak.)

I was what was called a “trunk slammer” on some tour stops, meaning I went to the Monday morning qualifying to get into the big tournament and then when I didn’t get in, tossed my clubs in the trunk and slammed the lid and either headed for the next stop or back to my course to practice more.

In those years I was based in Palm Springs, California and actually was a head professional in 1973-74 of a country club there as well as playing tournaments occasionally. I also drank far too much, but that’s another story. (grin)

The picture below is a scan of a copy of a very old photograph.

Since I had a house fire in 1985 and lost everything, including all pictures, this is the only picture I have of my golf course and me back in those days. Yes, the kid in the picture was the head professional of that eighteen hole country club. (The restaurant is behind me and the tennis courts in the background.) The picture was taken to hang in the clubhouse with my name under it.

So just a glimpse into one of my earlier careers after skiing, but before architecture and writing.

Now the question is: Who stole my 1973 body? I want it back in exchange for this thing I’m limping around in now. (grin)

One Comment

  • T Thorn Coyle

    I’ve found the Decade Ahead class very useful… for one thing, it has helped me realize that I came back to writing fiction ten years ago! And my life has changed because of it.
    It’s great to be able to think about my intentions for my publishing business and the writing for ten years on.

    The big career shift that led to my return to fiction was exactly that question in the middle of a burnout: What if this goes on?

    All the decisions we make—whether they seem small or large—matter.