Tag Archives: age

Something Different

So, it’s been over a month since I returned home from my tenure in Telluride. (I spent seven full days there, specifically to reassess and sort out my life, and even more specifically, my writing life.) I noticed today that I’m back to doing pretty much what I was doing before I left. My writing hasn’t improved because I’m still doing the same old same old.

I’m still squeezing my writing in where I can find a space for it, rather than making it moreso the center of my universe. Often, I finally come to it only after getting home from work, or from having done my running around. It’s something I get to when I have the time. When I can fit it into my day, having gotten the important stuff done.

Folks who saw my Telluride pictures posted on Facebook, and who read my blogposts for that week, are right in thinking I had a good time. But, (and especially if they only saw the pictures), they’re missing how my time there was more centered around my writing than my having fun.

Here’s one example. I missed the Blood Moon, because I was inside my hotel room, writing. I knew it was happening, wanted to see it, had even woke in time to do so, but I never even stepped outside to have a gander. Rather, I stayed with my writing.

But, meanwhile now, back here on the ranch, I’ve not been putting off doing wanted things, in order to stay at the desk writing.

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Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know one of the things that troubles me is the lateness of my age in getting started with writing, compared with that of my contemporaries. Yesterday, when I mentioned to a local I’d not seen in a year or so that I was weary of my hospital job, and was wishing I could find something other and better, she encouraged me with, “You’re still young.” Now, she may not realized my actual age, but what she said does hold a good bit of truth. I do still have time. I am not out of contention. Not yet. Not by a long shot.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out, Staying With the Writing

The Age Thing, Part II

Now that I’ve had time to think about it, this “Age Thing” I wrote about last time is pretty much “full of prunes,” as my mom would say. We each come to our callings, our tuggings, at differing stages of our lives. Yeah, maybe I am getting a late start, writing-wise, (which I’m making increasingly later by my whiney and mopey procrastination, by the way), but so what? By all systems of measure, writing is what I want, and am called, to do. So why aren’t I? Because I just turned 50? Sheesh, whatta load of horse-hooey!

Earlier this week, a nearby newly-published writer came to town: Andrea M Jones. In the December issue of Colorado Central, I reviewed her, Between Urban and Wild. So strongly did her writing impress me, I urged the local bookstore to include her in one of their upcoming monthly book readings/signings. On one hand, I wanted Andrea to receive the recognition and expansion of her audience for which her writing was due. (I also figured it’d be a good thing for the bookstore, having her. This same bookstore that’s supported me in all the ten years it’s been open.) On the other hand, I wanted to meet this woman, this writer whom in my review I compared to Annie Dillard, and also Susan J Tweit and Laura Pritchett.

Guess what. Turns out Ms Jones just might be a wee bit older than I. And I don’t think she’s given any notion to her age being an excuse for not writing, for not sending her writings out into the world. So what’s my excuse, now?

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Staying With the Writing

The Age Thing

I turn fifty at the end of the week; and still I have no collection of my published work. Nor am I in any anthology, any other collection of writings. Other than where they were originally published, I have no works anywhere in the world.

Michelle Kodis once said, “Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.” So perhaps I ought not unfurl the litany of fellow writers who, back in their whippersnapper thirties and twenties, were miles ahead of where I currently am. Perhaps I should take heart, instead, with folks like John Irving,  Mary Oliver, and others who continue producing phenomenal work while significantly settled in “retirement age.” Writing is something I’ll be able to do for a long way on down the road. Something that will still be paying me, not requiring my living off of savings and Social Security.

But it’s not so much the financials that have me in a twist, due to my late start. It’s that feeling of insecurity due to being behind my fellows. The sense of impossibility in catching up. Of forever being too far behind.

But, also, it’s not as though I haven’t been writing for the last twenty years. That I’ve been away from my craft, playing tiddlywinks, instead. Being able to write well is a separate issue from being published. (And, likewise, to be sure, being published doesn’t mean you write well!)

Some things bear repeating; so let me say it again: “Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.” Perhaps comparing myself with others is a way of negating myself. So what if I’ll be in my fifties—or maybe even older—when I am finally published? That can also mean, among other things, that I’ll bring more to the table when published. More experience, more insight, more wisdom, more compassion, more empathy, more assuredness, more confidence. It is with these attributes that I’ll catch up with my fellows. Perhaps maybe not ever in quantity, but in quality, where it truly matters.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer