I’ve always been fascinated by age and writing. Actually, this topic obsesses me. I read that Amanda Hocking, our heroine of the indie publishing world, busted her ass to finish her first book before she was thirty because some of her favorite authors were published before thirty. That’s motivation. Good on her. And, hell, I think she’s the best for rattling the publishing cages of the New York gatekeepers. Amanda has balls. And, more importantly, she’s paving the way for the rest of us–the silent, obscure scribblers out there with 9 to 5 jobs, car payments and underwater mortgages. You rock, girl!
Full disclosure: I’m an old fart. But I think you knew that. I was Amanda Hocking in the early 1990s. I was the young, ambitious scribbler working three jobs in a futile attempt to finish my first novel. Well, I didn’t get much writing done, and mostly what I accomplished was making myself feel like I was a writer. I wasn’t a writer. I was a dabbler, a rank amateur (still am, but that’s another story!), a supercilious poseur with a college education and a lot of time on my hands to dicker around and get nothing done. Okay, I’ve beat myself up enough.
Point is (I like that introductory phraseology), it took me twenty years to realize that it doesn’t matter how old you are when the Muse finally hits you between the eyes–and you shouldn’t regret the fact that you “wasted” some years trying to find yourself. I wasn’t at a place in the early 1990s to write anything of substance. My skull was full of competing ideas–and mostly lots of bullshit. There are many folks out there who begin to write in their declining years (ha, sorry couldn’t help it!). And, it feels better now that it ever has. Point is (there it is again), the Muse visits you when you are ready. And–you never really know when that will happen, or if it ever will. That’s the weird and scary thing about writing. Nothing can be forced. I don’t care what the self-help books say. You are the master, and don’t ever forget it.