It’s no good running a pig farm badly for thirty years while saying, “Really I was meant to be a ballet dancer.” By that time, pigs will be your style. ~ Quentin Crisp
I thought I would become a writer when I turned fifty. I have been saying that since I was in my teen years. Teachers, friends, co-workers have commented from time to time, “Hey, you should be a writer.” and my response has always been ” I’m collecting life experiences so that I will have something to write about.”
I figured it would take until about fifty to have enough credible life experiences to be taken seriously.
And… I really believed myself.
What I didn’t see was the delay tactic of a big scared chicken. The unconscious desire to be liked more than the need to get out there and put pen to paper and risk the failure of someone not liking what I wrote.
Being a writer is a risky business. Oh sure, I’ve been doing Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages ( Author of the book the Artist’s Way) for thirty years, long before I ever heard of her or the concept. They are my hand-written journals, documenting the free-flow thoughts of my morning coffee, day after day, year after year. They are taking up space on my bookshelves where no one will read them until I am dead. The only risk in this is that someone might sneak a peak a little early.
Writing for public approval or pay carries a greater risk. Someone might not like you. Someone might not think you know what you are talking about. Someone might tell you you are wrong. Someone might think you were born missing the creative gene. Someone might think you are not worthy enough to carry the title of WRITER after your name.
Wendi Kelly, Writer.
I have worked in the corporate business writing world. As a writer. One would think that this would give a person a sense of reassurance. After all, I was paid to write and consult others about their writing. Yet somehow that venture out into the professional world of writing, working for the boss with the little red pen and nothing nice to say, did more to shake my confidence than all my school teachers combined.
I left that world feeling less like a writer then when I went in. I had become a word processor. Crank them up and spit them out. Cross the T’s and dot the I’s. Don’t get cute, don’t get funny, just say what needs to be said and get out….
I got out.
Now I want back in. In to the world of writing. Pick up the pen, feel the keys of the keyboard tapping under my fingers, clicking out my thoughts, my ideas, good or bad.
Ready to face rejection?
I am about to turn forty eight. Just a few years shy of the big Five-Oh. I guess maybe I have been collecting a giant bag of life experiences to write about, but more importantly, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons that have equipped me for the journey ahead. A huge one is the lesson of rejection.
You can’t hide from it.
It’s out there no matter what you do. So why run a pig farm if you wanted to be a ballet dancer? You still aren’t going to get away from rejection. Pig farmers get rejected too.
I’ll take my chances making my dreams come true.
I really like what you wrote here. I know exactly how you feel, I think you have always known at heart that you are a writer. I have had many bosses tell me that I write very well (yet I’ve not been writing what *I* want to write), and I had a close friend tell me if I didn’t start writing publicly, he’d kick me in the butt.
So I spent a lot of time reading, just like you did, and then I jumped in with both feet, started commenting and then started a blog.
Anyway – keep at it, keep putting one foot in front of the other. You have a talent for this.
Take care – Brett
That is very encouraging to hear. I guess I have just reached the point that I would rather fail then not try it at all.
I have to say, wading through all of this blogging business is a little bewildering, I have so much to learn about the technical part of it that it’s easy to get distracted from the writing! I’ll just keep plodding along, learning as I go!
Better and Better!
You are welcome! You really do write very well, and you are doing things the right way by just jumping in.
That’s exactly what I’m doing. I know just how you feel, I really have no idea what I’m doing yet but learning as I go and meeting some very helpful people.
I think that is one of the best things for me so far – the community is incredibly supportive. One thing I have done to help with the technical side is to have a theme designed for me (by the guys at Men with Pens) and I’ll be going to a hosted service soon. I’ve been a part-time Linux hacker, so I played around with WordPress for about two hours before I said “I’d rather write!”
So by all means, keep doing what you are doing, but don’t be afraid to jump to the next step, or ask for help. Everyone seems willing to give a hand. Together we are stronger.
Yes – better and better!
Thanks for the words – Brett
Daz Cox says
yup yup, again I can relate. I decided to become an artist when I had the chance to go to college and start a ‘career path’. Two decades later, I might not have made much money or be famous, but I sure as hell have always been known as an artist! ask anyone!