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Happy last of your 20’s, Hannah! Don’t worry, moving onto the next decade doesn’t hurt…neither does the next one. ;)
A little while back, Hannah asked about maturity and how it affected writing. At first I thought that didn’t apply to me, since I didn’t even start writing fiction until the year I turned 40. But then I realized the effect of maturity on writing might apply to me more than anyone.
You see, I’ve always had stories playing in my head—it starts with a particular scene, and then I begin to wonder how the characters got there…and what happens to them afterward…and before I realize what’s happening, an entire plotline’s swimming in my head. But I’ve also always been a practical kind of girl, and hours spent writing weren’t going to pay the bills or get the kids off to school or complete a million other necessities. So I told myself there wasn’t time and it was silly and no one would understand so just forget about it.
Then I turned 40.
I don’t think the plotline bugging me then was any more profound than any of the others I’ve ever dreamed up, but this time I gave in to the urge to write it down. The initial throes of writing were impulse, but the continuation of it, and the completion of that story and moving onto the next, I blame on maturity. Because as I got older, I gradually learned to care less about what others thought I should be doing and more about obeying my internal call. Something was telling me to write and I followed that. Whenever my logical side poked at me and told me it was ridiculous, something else poked back, and I finally had the self confidence to continue on with my passion.
Another thing about maturity that helped me with this writing gig was experience. I hadn’t written fiction before, but the written word had always been an important part of my career in investment consulting. In preparing quarterly investment reports, I had to translate data into something meaningful for my clients, so I was trained to examine my writing from the readers’ point of view. That perspective has been invaluable to me as I edit my stories.
But go figure, as I sit atop all this wonderful maturity, my first published novel is set back in the 80s and is a total throwback to my college days. Hmm, guess I don’t need to study Freud to know what that means. Hannah, you’ll always have the treasured memories of your 20s, and don’t ever let them go! But you’re in for a whole bunch more fun in your 30s and so on and so on. Happy Birthday!
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Thanks so much Nicki for your wise words of wisdom.
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