35

I think I turn 35 soon.

I’m being dramatic. Of course I know how old I will be and I know when, although I make the point because it did catch me out a couple of weeks ago. For a moment I had to work it out was I 34 or 35?

Anyway a birthday is as good a time as any to talk about age. I’m generally a ‘young-at-heart’ kind of a person and don’t often feel the weight of the years pressing down on me. I do however count and gauge my self-percieved lack of success against my own years and those of others. I remember when Zadie Smith published White Teeth and thinking, damn she’s my age. Am I alone in this or do any of you partake in these little foibles? I will quite often see an author who is older than me and then find out when they published their first book, then I do the maths… ‘OK so I still have two years to get something published going by that author’s track record… YES!’

Stupid isn’t it. I mention it, because It’s one of a myriad of distraction methods we use to keep from actually sitting at the desk and hitting the keys. I can remember as early back as being 15 years old and doing calculations in my head… right so I didn’t get that finished when I said but by next summer I’m definitely going have achieved this…

Age only matters (personally speaking) when you’re not filling the years with the things you want to be doing; when we excuse ourselves another years dross, because ‘next year’ we’ll have it all sorted out.

Two years ago I changed the way I worked and the way I thought dramatically. I stopped counting calendars, I stopped making excuses or finding places to lay the blame. I just wrote and if obstacles came along they were no one else’s problem but my own and I needed to find a way around them.

Guess what? Not hard to guess is it… I started completing work.

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Comments
2 Responses to “35”
  1. loummorgan says:

    God, I sit at a desk (or table, or on the floor, or the sofa… the joys of a Macbook, eh?) and hit the keys frequently. With my head. But you’re quite right about the age thing – except that it’s not so much a race as it is a benchmark.

    On the one hand, it feels like as long as you’re just about keeping level with the people you perceive to be peers, there’s hope – and if you actually manage to better them, hurrah! You’re a wunderkind!

    On the other, of course, it’s a complete fallacy because when you talk about any creative industry, it’s not exactly a clock-in, clock-out kind of job. There’s no guaranteed promotions, and you can never replicate someone else’s career path – mostly because you’re not them. Nor should you want to be.

    As you say, the moment you realise your stories are yours, and that only you can tell them–at your own pace and in your own style–you’re flying.

    • kaisavage says:

      Wise little initiates are we. We have passed the first test on the road to enlightenment. Next… catching trout with our toes.

      It’s good stuff this though. I think too many writers (too many people in general) are concerned with what everyone else is doing and don’t concentrate on what they are/should be doing.

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