Why did I wait so long to get serious about writing?

Emily and Elijah at the zoo

I feel very old this week. Keeping up with small children is not something I do well any longer. Three days in a row this week, I had two of my grandchildren, ages five and seven, in my home. They were both sick with colds and still they wore me out.

I praise all who have care of little ones and still are able to write. If nothing else, the reason I waited so long to get serious about writing is clear to me now. I couldn’t even get my thoughts straightened out in snatches of free time, let alone write anything coherent. And by the time the kiddies were tucked in bed, all I could do was stare into space.

When my own four children were that young, I’m sure I had more physical stamina, yet the mental fatigue was just as bad. I sought refuge in books. I read. And read. And read some more. I took in a lot, and it mixed and fermented and formed into stories in my head, but I didn’t have the energy to write them down.

Let’s call that my writer’s training course. Long, long years of it. There are advantages to that, of course. I had a lot of life experience stacking up too. Intense research, we’ll call that. And to be honest, I’m glad I didn’t write down most of the stories that swirled through my head through those years. It was a time to watch and listen, not speak.

I’m happy to be approaching my career as a writer from a mature perspective. I’ve finally found my voice and have some things to say. Many novel’s worth.

Your turn: How does your age and circumstances affect your writing?


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43 thoughts on “Why did I wait so long to get serious about writing?

  1. I’m in my teens and I think that’s probably a good thing for my writing. For one, I have the mental stamina that someone like my mom doesn’t at the end of the day. I can stay up until 3am and not be affected except the next morning until about noon when I’ll be normal again.

    Another thing is that I think being close to my character’s age helps me to make them believable. Their feelings are easier for me to portray because (although I’m not in the same depth of their positions) I’m experiencing similar emotions myself.

    Obviously though all of my comments apply to being a YA writer (well at least the last one does).

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