Wednesday, January 1, 2014

There are advantages to being a 50something writer

50+ years of experience
I've been gathering experience for 50+ years
  1. I have already been told numerous times I was wrong and proved that I was right.
  2. I have been wrong before and survived and I will again
  3. I have paid my bills, and when I didn't, I learned to pay them the next time.
  4. I found out I don't have to answer any questions I don't want to.
  5. I have learned how to ask questions so people want to answer them (they don't always, but they want to).
  6. I refuse to sit in the corner and cry about it.  But I know some times a good cry works wonders.
  7. I know what my body does when it is terrified.
  8. I know what my body does when it is tired.
  9. I know what my body does when it hasn't slept for three days. (My husband and I laughed our heads off about nothing funny, but it was a blast) Not recommended more than once a year.
  10. I know that how I react is not necessarily how another person will act.
  11. Now I decide what I am going to do about it and do it.
  12. I wrote a book.
  13. And then I wrote three more.
  14. I published a book, and then I published three more.
  15. So I am writing another book.
  16. I plan to publish it.
  17. Creativity is in the mind, of the mind, doesn't always mind, but mind you, it never really leaves.
  18. There are days I don't want to write.
  19. There are not many days I don't want to write.
  20. I love my parents despite and in spite of all they did, tried to do and never got around to doing.
  21. I am a parent, and I think she's going to love me in spite of and despite of all of it.
  22. I married the right man, and he agrees.
  23. What I really know, really experienced and really care about can be a great help with writing about the things I didn't know until I looked it up, didn't experience but have an idea about, and don't care much about but can see how someone would.
  24. I know that crying is not proof that someone is hurt 
  25. I know that not crying is not proof that someone does not care.
  26. I know that silence is not agreement, and taking a stand is far more reliable.
  27. I know my opinion needs to matter to me more than it matters to anyone else.
  28. I have learned that opinion is not fact.
  29. I know that some believe opinion is enough to hang a hat on.
  30. I rarely wear a hat.  Don't have the head for it.
  31. I can wait a long time, I already have.
  32. I will not wait long for things not worth waiting for or things that should not be allowed to wait.
  33. I have learned that criticism can hurt, but even that sort can be learned from.
  34. I have learned to give criticism that teaches.
  35. Nothing is forever except ideas.
  36. Escapism is not a bad thing.  Writers depend on it. Readers need it well done.
  37. Every day I need to seek out knowledge.
  38. As often as possible I need to share knowledge.
  39. I know how to say I am sorry and mean it. 
  40. I have learned that some of the closest friends a person can have shed, and their only flaw is the amount of hair that can accumulated in the corners.  Dogs, kindness in the warm, occasionally wet-nosed package, that renews itself every morning and sometimes numerous times in the course of the day if you step outside enough times and make a big deal every time you come back in.
  41. I have been an infant, a toddler, a pre-teen, a teenager, a lover, a newlywed, a pregnant woman, a new mother.  I remind my daughter I am old enough to be a grandmother, but I am not ready, nor is she ready to make me one.
  42. I have struggled with self-consciousness and reached a point of mostly not caring what people think about me.
  43. I have found meditation has numerous benefits
  44. I have struggled with achieving a pregnancy, giving up, gone a decade believing and accepting that it was not possible.
  45. I have lost a pregnancy, and helped a friend deal with losing her own pregnancy.
  46. I went preterm and held out for a full term delivery.
  47. I have had a child remind me to pay attention. And I listened. I held her sitting in the crook of my arm.  She placed two chubby hands on either side of my face, turned me to share an eye-to-eye look, and she said, "Momma?" with the firmness of a drill sergeant. 
  48. I know how to hide the fact that I am a shy person. (Head up, chin up, eye steady)
  49. I know how to say no and mean it.
  50. I found out why mothers are never shy when a child is involved.
  51. I learned how to give orders so students do what I say (but don't ask me to explain how it works).
  52. I have made friends and lost friends and will forget neither.
  53. I have been lied to and lied, and carried the burden of both.
  54. I have fallen in love and worked hard not to climb out because holding onto love is not an easy thing.
  55. I know how it is to lose a parent to cancer.
  56. I know how it is to lose a parent to unexpected death.
  57. I know how it is to lose a parent to dementia.
  58. I have petted the family dog and felt her life flow out and cried for the loss. And I have explained to my daughter why she will not be coming back.
  59. I know how it is to watch my sister lose a child to a brain tumor.
  60. I know how it is to witness a miracle of survival.
  61. I have lived on the East Coast, the West Coast, the Northwest and South Coast.
  62. I have hiked the beginning of the Narragansett Trail and the end of Oregon Trail.  Missed the middle.
  63. I know the reality of not doing something now.  Do it now or it will never happen.
  64. I have graduated high school.
  65. I have graduated college, three times, different degrees.
I figure I still have plenty to learn, and all of it will be useful to me as a writer and a person.

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