I have been down the rabbit hole of looking at people who have made a success of their lives in the way that I wanted to make a success of mine. When I was younger (by which I mean quite young in my twenties and so forth), I was always looking at how old the people I wanted to be were. I spent hours looking for hints about dates of birth and then doing the sums from there. And because I was young, they were inevitably older than I was, I thought that the secret ingredient was age. The reason things hadn’t come together for me was simply a matter of being too young.
Now, of course, all the people who have success in the domains I want to have success are a lot younger than I am. So I was right, in that there is an age where it all comes together. But I have passed that age.
It turns out that the ingredient wasn’t simply time, but what was happening during that time. What I was doing with that time. And what I was doing with that time was sometimes, but not enough, writing.
With the result that here I am in my mid-fifties, and I’m feeling two highly contradictory things about my writing work. One is that I really did miss my chance. I feel that the years I spent wishing I were a writer but not doing the writing have led to here, a bit of finished work, but not all that much. The second thing I feel is that I am here to do the work now, and that I have good projects to lose myself in, and if I just focus on them it really will all come together.
Of course the other thing is the constant question: if I’m not going to sit down and do the writing then what am I going to do with that time? And if I get to the end of another five years and I still haven’t finished this or that, then I’ll be even more frustrated than I am now.
So back to the (writing) work it is.