While I’ve spent more than 10 years as a writer and journalist, I’m also a regular card player with a love for bridge.
Most houses have a deck of cards somewhere. That’s all you need to play game of bridge, and it can prove to be a major asset for how you write.
What does bridge have to do with writing?
6 Ways Bridge Can Make You a Better Writer
1: Writing Colourful Conversations
A lot of conversations take place around the card table, and it’s a great place to pick up different topics, facts, friends and dialects all in one spot. Writers often eavesdrop, but playing bridge allows them to be right in the middle of the conversation (without the awkwardness of having to initiate it or eavesdrop from a distance that characterise many introverted writers).
2: Meeting Diverse Characters
Playing bridge can take you all over the country, sometimes all over the world if you’re interested in more serious and regular tournament playing – and even if you aren’t and keep your playing online, you’re guaranteed to meet new people from all over the world through bridge. People from very diverse walks of life play bridge every day, and it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to build long-term friends and business contacts.
3: Being Better in Business
Contract bridge can teach you skills that are essential for business, including essential logic and negotiation skills that are useful away from the card table. Writers are freelancers at the same time, and you should learn to treat your writing career as a business from early on – bridge can help to teach you how.
4: Keeping the Brain Sharp
Bridge is one of the best ways out there to keep the mind sharp, and research shows that it can even reduce the chances of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease with regular play. Within just a few weeks of playing bridge, you can likely see an increase in mental sharpness and overall memory – and it could be a little easier to remember where you put the keys.
5: Letting Ideas Flow
Shuffling a card deck or playing a relaxed game of cards can be some of the most relaxing things you can do. For writers, it’s a great way to take your mind off a pitching round or a hard brief where your brain feels stuck, and it can help to kick writer’s block right out the window. Don’t know what to write? Feel stuck? Pick up a deck of cards.
6: Hand Dexterity
Writers often take a lot of strain when it comes to their wrists and hands, and this can start to show after several tens of thousands of words typed in the form of arthritis. Especially for writers, it’s vital to keep our hands in good condition – and shuffling a deck of cards (along with learning a few card tricks) is excellent for improving hand dexterity.
If you’re looking for the essential information on bridge and how to play it, here are some of the most resourceful links and websites around.
- Bridge: The Rules – Contract bridge requires four players playing in partnerships: Each player is dealt 13 cards, and the object of the game is to win “tricks” that fulfil the contract, which is bid at the beginning of the game. For official contract bridge rules, see Bicycle Cards – Bridge Rules here.
- Great Bridge Links – Great Bridge Links is one of the top resources for everything cards and bridge, and this is your go-to site when you’re looking for bridge news, bridge tournaments, bridge software and anything else related to bridge.
By Alex J. Coyne. Alex is a writer, proofreader, and regular card player. His features about cards, bridge, and card playing have appeared in Great Bridge Links, Gifts for Card Players, Bridge Canada Magazine, and Caribbean Compass. Get in touch at alexcoyneofficial.com.
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