I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Forever and ever

What happens when you run out of time, or actually, when you think you are running out of time?  Once we reach the age called “certain”, (the new 50, which is everything above the half century mark), writers become aware of the longevity of projects, as balanced out by, how much time we have left to complete them.

As an unpublished writer of fiction, do I really want to commit to a year or more, (probably much more), of completing a novel which may never see a shelf other than my own? Non-fiction, that’s another story. Been there, done that, am still doing it.

Though it is said there is no prejudice against older writers in traditional publishing, we all know that is not true. Agents and publishers look at writers, and the many years of writing ahead for them, to earn out advances and cash in on the efforts of everyone. In my mind, if all things are equal but age, it is likely youth will win out?

This whole age vs. time analysis has become an issue for me. But when I mull the importance of age considerance I realize we are all of a certain age. None of us is guaranteed the next few decades, few years, day or hours. Life is tenuous.  

The limits we put on our achievements and successes are only bound by the efforts we put forth to complete them.  Whatever our passion, if we don’t try, don’t finish and simply dream, wonder and wait, we self-prophesize ourselves to fail.

I breathe, therefore life is endless and achievement possible.

11 comments:

  1. I have to believe what Janet tells us: it all comes down to the writing.

    And so - I write!

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    1. Writing is ALWAYS the thing but I do know (because of on line info) it is impossible to hide how old we are. But I can't help but wonder, if a book is great, I mean really, really, great I wonder what it would take for an agent to take on someone with a future imagined in years rather than decades..

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  2. I agree, 2Ns. I have a saying stuck to my computer. It reads: The most painful thing to experience is not defeat but regret. I don't want to regret not giving this writing gig 100%.

    But I don't think age should be an issue with publishers. Because there's no need to reveal our age at all. And it isn't a business where you meet face to face. Unless of course you are planning on referencing your day job. Being a public face would make it more difficult to hide =)

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    1. You're right AJ. Giving it all you've got is the way to go . Realistically going full-bore 24/7/365 is possible but when obligations like job and family intercede, weighing the importance of the immediate vs. the 'possible' reward of the unknown future becomes the issue. It's making choices without regret that's the thing.

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  3. You're correct 2Ns--no-one is guaranteed another minute, let alone year or decade, no matter how old you are. While I think there is such a thing as having a healthy sense of one's own mortality, this should push us to achieve as much as we can in whatever time we have. And when it comes to writing novels, there are novelists who first published well into retirement. Then there are those who have only published once, but that one was worth an entire career (e.g., Harper Lee. Really.).

    There are two kinds of regret: regret for things you did, and regret for things you didn't do. With the former come lessons that you learn yourself, or pass on to others. With the latter there is only regret.

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    1. "...regret for things you did, and regret for things you didn't do." Love that.

      Funny that when you are young you never think of this stuff. It's only when we begin to consider life with a bucket list, we begin to realize what it is we want to pour out and what we want to refill it with.
      Actually it doesn't really matter in the end.

      I'm lucky my bucket is light both in regret and in things to do. I'd hate to lug a ton of regret and a lot of to-dos.

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  4. You sort of worked your way around to the "correct" conclusion, that being "we are all of a certain age."

    Here's something to chew on. If Nortel hadn't gone bankrupt, I'd still be there. I wouldn't be "here." I wouldn't be writing full time - if at all. I always put it on the back burner for work, family etc. I was, more or less, pushed back into it. When I think back, I realize it was almost strange, how it happened. I knew the company was in trouble. I decided to go back to school. And one day, I said to hubby, "I'll never know about this writing unless I try that too." That's when the 60+ hour weeks of work/school/writing began. And it was exactly in that priority. Nortel work first. School work next. Writing last.

    Talk about regrets. I also think if you write a book that is wonderful - publishing doesn't care if you're on a respirator about to enter the pearly gates. (think about the books pub'ed posthumously.) Just sayin'. So. Like you tell everyone else. Write the damn book.

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    1. It's really strange how life moves us along the path best meant for us. Not sure of the mystical side. Maybe it's simply the way we react to change. Some take advantage of the storm brewing, some head right for it and some run. Looks like you took advantage.

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  5. Where the edit button when I need it. I typed "Talk about regrets." Had a thought and then didn't type it. Ha, Monday morning brain. The talk about regrets meaning, what if that hadn't happened? What if I was still there slogging along? I'd never know my writing didn't suck too bad.

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    1. A great movie about the what-ifs of life is GRAND CANYON with Kevin Kline and Danny Glover and a host of big names. If you haven't seen it rent that sucker tonight.

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    2. Oops. Just saw this, so your advice "see that sucker tonight," will have to come tonight or when we can. Mom's b'day is Aug 26, and we're celebrating this weekend, which means I will be cleaning, baking, shopping, and then having family over Saturday. She's spending Sat night, so no movie watching - or writing much for that matter, till she leaves.

      I try not to freak out about these things. Damn family. As you said, JUST KIDDING! :)

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