Do you ever feel like a character in one of your own stories?
Ilene never regretted marrying young, choosing family over further formal education, and writing over a “real” job—until 2012 when colossal world ending shifts in the earth’s tectonic plates forces her to consider the path she chose. If she could do it all over again, would she change a thing?
Okay . . . my life is not exactly like Ilene’s or at all (hopefully!) like the theme of a certain year-titled film, but I have been doing some thinking on the choices I’ve made and will make in the future about my writing.
It’s not a case for panic—I go through these reassessment times fairly frequently, finding them invigorating and affirming (and sometimes a necessary correction: “Hey, you took a wrong turn back there, get back on the road.”) In fact, this current bout of reflection has me bouncing off walls and just feeling plain old excited about what’s ahead, because so far I’ve made almost all of my self-imposed goals.
I’ve been writing “seriously” for just over ten years. My non-fiction tends to sell when I submit it (if I keep it out there enough, anyway ;-). I’ve started to sell short stories. I have one standalone novel or (maybe) two ready for publication and a Book 1 ready to go, plus half of Book 2 of what I see being a three-book series.
By many writers’ measure, the above paragraph of accomplishments might seem scant, but to me it’s wonderful success: I have kept on keeping on. I have continued writing even when everyone around me (and a loud voice in my own head) says, “Why? Isn’t there something more worthwhile, more practical, more something you could do?”—And now my writing really is entrenched, accepted, and nary receives a condescending smile!
I don’t know what exactly is ahead in my writing life, but it feels like there is “something,” and I’m excited about it—or then again, maybe I do have a small notion, but I’m holding it back for a bit.
Thankfully the end-of-the-world shtick was just a plot device, but Ilene can’t be too angry. She’s relieved to embrace the life she’s leading and accepts that while she can’t know what the future holds, looking forward to good things rather than worrying about possible bad things is way more beneficial to every part of her life (and is way more fun!). She would not change a thing.
So that’s me, looking back at the past years of my writing life and looking ahead to possibility . . . What’s your writing head like these days?