According to Bloglines I have been a faithful scalzophant since January 26, 2005. Except in a lurky fanboy way: reading his blog and his books. I sent a couple unanswered emails which I chalked up to spam capture and not the delete button.
But now, in the middle of what’s clearly been a great relationship, he drops this turd in my lap.
I was once a teenage writer like you (see goofy picture to the right), although that was so long ago that between now and then, I could have been a teenager all over again.
I am no longer a teen. No longer in college. I am not even still in my first or even second career. And, near as I can tell from anecdotal evidence and my weakening memory I am several month’s John’s senior. Would that we were six and half and seven and I could lord the extra half year over him like it was a full year and I’d be back to being even after this helpful advice of his. He’s not talking to you kids, he’s talking to me. I am certain that the use of the word teen throughout the post is subtext for wannabe’s like me.
In the beginning, I didn’t realize how many writers there were out there. I was happy to dream about becoming a novelist–tomorrow. I had a dozen or so good ideas for stories that would eventually flower in the right soil–tomorrow. Then I had a bit of time and found myself actually getting busy becoming a writer: making maps, going to critique groups, reading about it online, buying a domain, and starting a blog and wiki. I had everything I needed to stop being a writer and becoming an author.
Then in the midst of all the reading about writing and the mapmaking and semi-related surfing, I started really getting what the net was telling me, "You need to write."
What the hell?
What about the maps?
First it was Holly, then ironically John, and most recently Miss Snark. They all agree, writing and writing well is the key. Here ya go: shit on a stick.
Now, in the middle of trying to choke down that bitter pill for the last several months, John tells me not only is it hard to do in the first place, not terribly lucrative in the second, but that it’s also gonna take me ten years!
While I am not working with a fully flaccid motivation here, it’s admittedly barely half-staff…I don’t seeing it successfully hardening in that kind of time.
What can I do?
I regroup, take a few deep breaths, put the map away for a moment, and do a little math. I figure based on his discussion that I might be allowed to shave a few years off for no longer being a teen and for having had life experiences–one for each decade and two for the wife and kids seems fair. And, I am sure as shit gonna take the six months I have on him. Maybe another blog would help. Three plus two plus half earns me back five and a half years.
Maybe I could even find an online word processor so I could write on the road or a task management tool to help me organize, speed things up.
That leaves me four and a half years to even be good at all once I start writing–tomorrow.