When a Writer Is Like a Pitcher on the Mound

Underneath his temperament, the pitcher is the team writer. You see it in the windup, when he’s about to toss the ball, and he pauses, stopped in air. At this moment, everything is possible. He addresses the batter as the writer addresses the blank sheet of paper. The ball will travel inside or outside, high or low, or down the center of the plate. It will be hit squarely, fouled off, or missed entirely. Any result may occur.

So the pitcher pauses on his perch and dreams of what he will write. And if a disaster ensues, and the ball goes sailing over the centerfield fence—if his writing falls flat in its face—he still has that one moment in the process, posed in his wind-up, when everything will turn out just as he has hoped.

—From the book The Story I Am: Mad About the Writing Life by Roger Rosenblatt.

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