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Awkward Adolescence Part II: The Growing Individualist

Posted by CW64 on November 10, 2009

My isolation in youth played a major part in my eventually becoming an individualist, which is what I consider myself above all else. Yes, I know that, in my introductory, I post referred to myself as a writer above else, but, after all, considering that my writing revolves around my individuality and the concept of individualism, the primary status of ‘individualist’ over ‘writer’ would seem to make sense to me.

Then again, my particular style of writing denotes who I am as an individual and individualist, so I cannot be distinguished as an individual or individualist without the inclusion of my writing passion and style, which thus must be established first, no?

Ah, more contradictions.

Or are they?

When I was sixteen, I was drawn into billiards (colloquially, "pool"). One might wonder what that has to do with writing.


Playing pool well requires thinking from beginning to end; every shot must be considered beforehand, even though a player might not know what her or his opponent is going to do throughout the game. That’s the challenge, and the strategy, though sound, will change just as consistently with the development of the game.

Writing, as said, is the same way. A general plan is conceived with the basic idea of a story or writing concept and then laid out in rough draft form. Revisions, then, subsequently fill in the gaps, expand and morph the story and the nature of the characters within it, become tighter and stronger and more vivid. With revisions comes the story’s final version; the climax, though preconceived, brings resolution—just like shooting in the eight ball (or nine ball, depending on the particular game).

Likewise, my writing has also driven me with becoming a better pool player. Writing strategies, such as being flexible with the development of a story and its characters, has directed me to be open-minded and more observant about the game and the organization on the table, not to mention shooting technique. Wording, phrasing, color of a story require just as much care as sliding the pool cue and pushing that cue ball; how a player slides her/his stick, how hard s/he hits the cue ball, how s/he hits the cue ball, all determine how the shot will be played and where the target ball will end up, just as the elements employed determine how a story will end up. Billiards and writing are parallel in this way.

Let’s not forget that Ringers would not have been written without my experience and knowledge of pool and hustling. Young Scotty is sixteen, and he is torn between playing pool professionally—to him, a sure thing—and going to college, which doesn’t guarantee anything in life. This struggle is one with which I am all too familiar; it is part of my life and has been for years. That is why this story is distinctly me—I both excel at the game and have advanced degrees. To me, this is an even balance.

In the end, I think that is why I was drawn to both—because of their ongoing developments and the intrigue that comes about as a result. The passion for both only intensified and made me more determined when I went off to college.

That was a good sign of interesting things to come!

Next: My Erratic Twenties . . . .




2 Responses to “Awkward Adolescence Part II: The Growing Individualist”

  1. Thanks for this post. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately with my father so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

    • CW64 said

      Thank you for posting, Boston, and good luck with your father. I realize that talking with parents isn’t always easy, but if you persist, you will achieve the results you want. 😉 I hope everything works out for you.

      Take care and, please, continue reading, enjoying, feeling inspired and post again.

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