A few days ago, I confessed that I once burned books. I am not proud of that action, but while reading your comments, I realized something. I do not regret being the person who committed that act. I don’t regret being any previous version of me. I believe they were all necessary to make me the person I am today—someone I sort of like.
I used to envy those of you who are writing seriously at a young age—and young being relative, that means most of you, as far as I’m concerned. But you know what? To paraphrase the great Towanda*: “Face it girls, I’m older than you and I have more experience.”
I’m able to write from a different perspective. Think about this: at the age of twelve, fifteen … even twenty, could you have written with the depth you can today?
We are admonished to write what you know, and because of my advanced years, I’ve accumulated a good bit of knowledge—mostly trivial, yes, but what better use for trivia than to spice up your writing?
Write what you know can also mean write what you know from an emotional level. The older you are, the deeper the emotional well you have to draw from. Even pain can be used for good. You must have lived in order to write about life.
Of course, some you youngins have probably lived far more exciting lives than I have, but for the sake of my argument, I’ll ignore that. Age makes you a better writer. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
* If you haven’t read Fried Green Tomatoes (or seen the movie) you really must.