Sunday, November 29, 2009

Musings on the Anniversary of My Natality

At the end of my senior year of high school, we all had to fill out these little questionnaires to be included in the yearbook. And one of the questions was “What will you be doing in 10 years?”

My answer was, “I will be married to (insert ex here) with two boys and working on my second bestselling novel.” Needless to say, by age 28, the ex had gone bye-bye, I had a gorgeous daughter, and my writing was…not there yet.

And as yet another birthday rolls around, I have to stop and look at what I intended versus what I’ve actually accomplished.

I was 31 when I signed with The Agent. I was 32 when I got my first book deal. I’ll be 33 when my first book hits the shelves.

I have many writerly friends (shout out to my Purgies) who are younger than me, and amazingly talented. They are in their early-mid-late twenties, writing novels, honing their craft, querying agents, getting deals. And sometimes, I’m majorly jealous. I think “OMG, I’m 33, I’m so oooooooold!” I wonder, did I waste all those earlier years? Should I have been working harder, writing more? Could I already be an established author NOW, instead of just debuting?

In all honesty, looking at what I was writing during that time period, there was no way I’d have been published. Project 1 (relegated to a farm with a family that loves it) was a product of that era, and re-reading pieces of it now make me want to cringe in shame. The encouraging thing was, the pieces I wrote at the beginning and the pieces I wrote just before relocating it are vastly different in style and quality.

I was getting better. Noticeably better. I found my own style, I learned not to infodump. I discovered the art of crafting characters that were real AND interesting. Every sentence I wrote, though I may never use it again, was useful. The writer I was then taught me how to be the writer I am now.

So maybe I didn’t marry the guy I thought I was going to, and maybe I have one girl instead of two boys. Maybe I didn't have any bestselling novels under my belt by age 28. Anything is possible, and an extra five years tacked onto that really isn’t that much, in the big scheme of things.

Happy Birthday to me.

10 comments:

sue laybourn said...

Happy Birthday, missus.

xxxx

Shveta said...

Happy birthday, darling! Your path is just going to get better and better. :)

colbymarshall said...

Happy birthday! And I think you're doing great...you're writer journey is going great, and I can't wait to see what is going to happen next for you!

cindy said...

py birthday! and i published in my 36th year and didn't write for an entire decade. i firmly believe we all have our own unique journeys to publication. congrats! and have a wonderful bday year.

i know my 36th is unforgettable.

Auggy said...

OMG, you're 33, you're so oooooooollllllllllddd!

*Says the 35-year-old.

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

Happy Birthday, lady!!! Can't wait for your book release! Seriously not long now!!!

BeshterBooks said...

You may not have married Ex, but you did marry the guy you were supposed to...or at least the guy we were pulling for. *grin* And its turned out brilliantly in the end. It's a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, things don't often happen 'when' we think they should, but they do happen 'when' they are supposed to and 'how' they are supposed to. And sometimes its for the better.

I think you are brilliant for being published at all, so many others who are older than you aren't. You are amazing, hon, and I'm rather proud of you!

And happiest of birthdays!

JenniferWalkup said...

Happy Birthday!

dirtywhitecandy said...

Lovely post and a charming way to introduce a character! Oops, there I go confusing reality and fiction...

Other Lisa said...

I'm so not telling you how old I am, making my debut as a novelist...

Happy Birthday anyway, youngster!