Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Word of Thanks to the Sporting Writer

For almost twenty years now, I have spent an inordinate amount of time plugging away at a keyboard trying to describing the sporting life. In this time, I have had to learn a great deal about the industry, and about writing. Much of which I am still learning. 

As someone who entered the world of outdoor writing very late in life - my early 40's. I have had to learn a lot about how the outdoor industry works. I still have a lot to learn. It is ever evolving and changing and in some areas, not a good direction. 

But through this journey, that I began with my first article that was published in the Ruffed Grouse Society journal. I have grown from one or two stories a year, to ten stories a year, to now over 120 annually and having published over a thousand stories in all. Including two books on the outdoors. 

Through this process, I continue to look up to and admire some sporting writers that I read my whole life and who shaped me as an outdoorsman and as a writer. 

Most of these names I will never be worthy to sharpen their pencil when it comes to their quality of work. I can only strive to capture the dust of their mistakes to make my writing shine. Still, it is with high regard that I recognize some of the writers, some of whom are no longer with us, and others who are still plying their trade. 

Great writers like, Gene Hill, Robert Ruork, Havilah Babcock, Nash Buckingham, Archibald Rutledge, and Jack O'Connor. 

But perhaps the ones I admire most are the ones I am honored now to call colleagues. Gentlemen of the sport, and masters of the craft of writing and writing well. Gentlemen whose stories captivate, inspire and move me to be a better sportsman and a better writer. Gentlemen who are not just great writers, but who are great woodsmen and outdoorsmen. Who motivate me with encouragement and who push me with much deserved observations of how I can improve. 

It is to these gentlemen that I owe a great deal of gratitude. I write this to say thank you to these gentlemen of sporting literature. If you have not read their works, you are missing some of the finest words ever to describe the outdoor lifestyle. 

Specifically, I want to say thank you to; Jim Casada, Terry Madewell and Pat Robertson. Certainly some of the finest gentlemen, outdoorsmen and writers of the past fifty years. I am honored to call them colleagues and friends. I always look forward to the time we spend together. Whether we are swapping stories, sharing some pats on the back, followed by good-natured ribbing or enjoying an after dinner libation. I am grateful and humbled for the wing they extended to me a decade ago. 

Outdoor writing is changing, we are seeing some of the greats retire, or pass on. There is a need for spirited younger people to share their experiences and their passion with good prose. As long as people read, there will be a need for good writing that captivates, inspires and promotes the outdoor lifestyle. 

Thankfully we still have some of the legends among us who can show us the way and encourage those of us who try to carry the torch into generations to come. 

Writing about the outdoors is an honorable profession, one that encourages, and motivates the soul of the individual into action. It stirs and fuels passion and leads generations into a sense of peace and wonder. 

So, I say "Thank You". To these gentlemen who have shown grace, and who have set the bar for us to aspire to achieve. 

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