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What’s Your Tennis Ball? by Diana Flegal

In 2013, MIT alumni Drew Houston gave the commencement speech to MIT’s graduating class.

Drew is the founder and CEO of Dropbox, an online backup and storage service. I use it every day, and am a Dropbox evangelist.

Drew observed the successful people around him did not just enjoy what they were doing, they were obsessed. Like a dog is with a tennis ball; focused.

A nonfiction writer might want to convey a certain truth in a specific format.

A fiction writer might obsess over POV, or character development.

But like a dog with a tennis ball, you want to be sure that focus does not cause you to ignore other important details or requirements.

What part of the writing experience are you obsessed with?


  1. Diana, I appreciate the warning not to be so narrowly focused that we run into trouble (a fence in the dog’s case). That’s why we have to have beta readers and critique partners. I’ve never asked myself this question before, but I’d have to say my focus is on evoking an emotional response in the reader. But whether the response I’m after is laughter or tears , it will be hijacked if my weak areas haven’t been given enough attention too (grammar, spelling, punctuation etc). Praise the Lord for editors and editing tips.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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