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thinking

I find that I just don't have the strength, stamina or brain power to write about war or politics at night. Which is fine, because you can't be all vitriolic and indignant 24 hours a day. Well you can, but the sex is really lousy when you spend your entire day fuming about world events.

I've got better things to think about. Like I was thinking about writing more. No, not blogging more. Writing more. On the blog, but in a different way. Ok, I know what I'm talking about. That's what's important here.

I was thinking about finding an agent. Is there an agent in the house?

I was thinking of how I wanted to be nothing but a writer since I about seven, how holding a pencil in my hand at that young age made me feel alive and importannt and how thrilling it was to string letters together to make words and string words together to make sentences and how, if you made enough sentences, they could form a story. It felt powerful then. It still does.

I was thinking how I never did anything with that power. How I dismissed every person who encouraged me, how I blew all the chances that I had because I was afraid of rejection, afraid that my words weren't worthy of being stamped into a book. A book. Only the people who knew how to wield a pen as if it were a syphon from their brain to paper had words set down in a book.

So I syphoned. I wrote. I wrote more. And the letters and words and sentences sat in boxes upon boxes, stuffed under my bed and in my closet where the evetually lost their power because no one read them.

I was thinking of taking all those thoughts out of their boxes. All the stories and poems and twenty page essays on love and life and the funny things that happen when try to witness the world.

I was thinking how I never reallly let myself become the one thing I ever wanted to be because I was afraid I didn't really own the ability to be that thing. To be a writer.

And now that I'm 40, I'm thinking that I might, just might, have that ability, but I left that door closed for so long I don't even know how to begin to open it.

I guess I could start by knocking.

Comments

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Do it, Michele! I'm two months from 40 and I'm really coming to believe you have to do what you want even if it scares you. Looking back, there's way too many things I let slip past me.

You're a great writer, and you should feel confident in that. Lots of us are :)

Go for it! I'll be forty Saturday, and I've neglected my non-blog writing tremendously. I don't blame the blog though -- if it wasn't for blogging I wouldn't be writing at all. But I've got a couple of novels just pounding through my brain right now and I have the feeling my blogging will be light for a while... (shyeah, right...) Anyway, ignore all those detractors, including the little inner demons of criticism.

As they sang in RHPS, "Don't dream it, be it."

You've got the goods, and more importantly, the drive. Go for it.

And that goes for you, too, Parrott. I expect more from you than just sex.

40, a grand age I look forward to turning..that means I am 15 years from my retirement, as I plan...and a lifetime ahead of nothing but what's "relative"

Go for it. If it's anywhere near as good as the blog, you'll find an audience no problem

And seeing as how the best writing comes when you least expect it (at the bottom of a bottle of tequila, perhaps?) you'll find lots of little treasures hidden in those boxes that you'll have completely forgotten about which the world is waiting for

Going through old boxes of writing is one of the most enjoyable things you can do when you’re alone. You’ll probably be surprised by how good it is. You’ve got the raw materials, you’ve got an audience, and you’ve definitely got the energy (I don’t know how you keep up the pace). So here’s another vote to go for it.

I am determined that no one else give up that dream. Especially one with such talent and whose writing I so very much enjoy. Go for it!

you are an excellent writer michele. you are the first blog i visit every day!

i've always had an attraction to creative people. i envied them so much and thought i had no talent. i've lived my life in the shadows of creative people never feeling that i had anything to offer. the most freeing thing i've ever done was to give myself permission to suck. it's better to be a bad artist than to never take the chance. i've often thought that critics are like wallflowers.. just sitting on the sidelines with negative commentary too afraid to take a chance on themselves.

'the artist's way' and 'vein of gold' are excellent books to help writers and other artists figure out what is holding you back and give you the tools you need to apply yourself. spirituality is at the center though and you have to keep an open mind but if you actually do the work you would be amazed at the results. unfortunately i don't do the work like i should. daily three page hand written journal entries and dates with yourself at least once a week. i'm on what's called a u-turn right now. i've always got some excuse for not making time for myself.

You already are a writer.

Focus, Pinky, focus.

Give us the goods, kid.

When that Cafe Press publishing branch launches, you should also consider collecting essays from this site and publishing them.

Go for it. Don't knock, just kick the door in!

"And now that I'm 40, I'm thinking that I might, just might, have that ability, but I left that door closed for so long I don't even know how to begin to open it."

Write, Michele. Just write.

Go for it! I love to write.. though not books. and my husband writes very well. Someday we hope to fulfill and act on our writing dreams...so keep dreaming and definately don't count yourself out of the running yet!

Age has nothing to do with it, so the 40 thing isn't really an issue.

Figure out what you want to write, do an outline, and don't stop until it's finished. If it helps to motivate you, blog every day about your progress.

I'm sure there are agents or publishers reading this blog, so one of them might contact you to walk you through the process. If not, Borders has tons of books on "how to."

But getting paid for writing is a good thing. And it seems you have an audience willing to pay.

What they said.

Sinply reading stuff you've written in the past and haven't looked at for years can give you a big boost. It should either give you a lift by how good it is, or impress you with how much better your writing has become.

Hi Michele
You best posts were always the ones where you brought yourself onto the page. Like Dorothy in OZ, I bet that you have always been a writer, all you have to do is to clck your heels and tell youself that you are one.

Because you can't read these words enough: do it.

Take out those stories and poems and get excited. I am a recent addition to your audience here and, for what it's worth, I'd read you.

Don't knock on the door, kick it down.

You are a writer. A pretty good one, too.

The best of A Small Victory is a book whose time will come.

Yes, you are a writer. One of the better ones I know of.

Tom said it...Kick the door in!

This ain't no dress reheasal.

Put it this way: has ANYONE ever walked away from this blog because you weren't interesting enough, or because your writing was sub-par? Even the most venomous troll wouldn't say that. To call you a good writer is the absolute BASELINE of compliments, because there is overwhelming evidence that you are just that good. :)

You can do anything. (YOu may have to get really, really drunk first, but I think that's evading the issue) Good luck, Michele. :)

Well, since you can pretty much put an e-book together with Microsoft Word and a few add-ons, maybe you could start there? Just a thought.

Hi Michele--

I'm saying this stuff because I want to encourage you just like your other readers.

I have written a book (it came out when I was 36, so I was not much younger than you are now). Writing it was fun, but a pain in the ass too. An even bigger pain in the ass was the three years I spent shopping the manuscript around to publishers--I didn't even have an agent. But finally, FINALLY somebody bit--and that was the greatest day of my life.

Another thing I will always remember fondly was the publicity tour when the book was released. That's a real thrill no matter what any more successful and jaded author might tell you--to talk to people who have actually read your work and want nothing more than to discuss it with you. Call it ego or anything you want, but there's no substitute for that.

Right now I'm seriously thinking of undertaking another book. And I'm not sure what I'll look forward to more--the actual creative process, or the post-publication fun n' games.

You're a good thinker with a way with words, and unlike me when I started out, you've even got a faithful following. You're crazy if you don't do it!

You are my first read every morning. I like your writing style, the topics you choose to write about and your in-your-face attitude.

I'd buy any book you wrote.

Good luck.

Do it! Don't think about time that has passed. You can write more at any age. (I don't say "you can become a writer at any age" because you already are a writer!) It's not like taking up base-jumping at 65. Just begin. Good luck!

Fran

I agree that you are already a great writer...you just need to move to hard copy. You're stories posted at Raising Hell would be a book in itself! The Baby-Eater and DJ flirting with the 17 year-old crack me up everytime I read them - and "Don't pee in the Millenium Falcon!" has become my new temper-warning phrase!!

"Do or do not. There is no 'try.'" --Yoda
(And for you there is no 'do not,' either, we know you can...so DO!)

For one, age doesn't matter.

Two, don't doubt yourself for one minute.I have read a lot. I was an english major for christ's sake.

Anything that stirs up an emotion in me, is worth reading, whatever that emotion might be. On many, many occasions, your writing has done just that.

It's not an issue of talent, it's an issue of whether you've got the guts to do it. And I think you do.

Michele,

Go for it! You've got the talent. From what you wrote above it sounds like the motivation (not the right word, but the best I could do) is what's lacking. Right now, go to Amazon (in the interest of full disclosure I do own Amazon stock :o) and buy "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Trust me, it will help. Good luck.