Thursday, April 14, 2011

WRITING RANGE

I’ve been taking shooting lessons.
I guess at my age, knitting might be a more appropriate hobby…
But knitting doesn’t make me feel safe…
If an intruder broke in and was approaching, I don’t think…
“STOP! I have a knitting needle and I’m not afraid to jab you!”
Would be as effective as…
“STOP! I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it!”
Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to protect myself…
And although I’m not sure whether I’m ready to buy a handgun…
(it’s a serious responsibility)
 I am feeling empowered just going to the range and shooting.
After taking a course in safety…
I finally went on the range.
Donning safety glasses and ear muffs…
I’m looking down the barrel of a 22 revolver…
As the instructor reminds me…
To line up the first sight with the rear sight…
And to keep my eye on the sight
Not the target.
Hmm?
I would have thought the target is where I want the bullet to go.
I squint, I aim, I pull the trigger and–
Not even close.
“You’re looking at the target,” the instructor says…
“and not keeping your eye on the sight. And you’re
‘pulling’ the trigger not 'squeezing' it.”
With my adrenaline pumping, I take aim again.
"Take a deep breath, try to relax," the instructor says.
I fired off a few more shots. Still off target.
“You must apply continuous, smooth pressure to the trigger
without disturbing the alignment of the sights until the gun discharges.”
Finally, after not too many more shots…
I focus just on the sights, I line them up and–
HA! Almost bull’s-eye!
On the drive home I got to thinking about my writing…
Am I too focused on the target of being published...
And not keeping in sight that I must continue to send submissions?
And that if I do get another rejection...
All I have to do is relax, reload, and fire again.
How about you?
What are you focusing on?
The sight? Or the target?

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. I'm also going to be taking a "Non-lethal" course in self-defense.

3 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

Ha! When I lived in Nevada, I had a friend who took me out to an undisclosed location in the mountains and had me shoot 17 different weapons at milk jugs and cans and assorted other items. By the time we got back to the bar (where else) he told anyone who would listen NOT to mess with me. My nickname was dead-eye dick (all puns intended) for a long time. No wonder I didn't have very many dates after that.

As for writing, I think my aim is clearly on the target. Well, the goal anyway is to get an agent. We'll see what dead-eye dick can achieve.

As for the sights, I don't know if you know this or not, and what the instructor may not tell you, but after so many firings, the sights end up being mis-aligned. So it might not be your shooting, it might very well be the gun.

And I say, go for the LETHAL self defense. If you're going to kill someone with a gun, you may as well know how to kill someone with a hand to the nose. It's all about your life, not trying to be nice.

Elena Solodow said...

I've always wanted to go to a shooting range - sounds great! I guess you have to keep a decent balance between looking at the target, knowing where you want to go, but also making sure the focus on your work is super-strong so you can get things done.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

Good for you, you gun slinging non-knitter! Hmmm. For me, as far as being published goes, things settled down a bit once I got my agent. Right now I'm trying to focus on my next book...