I sit here in front of my laptop, pensive. I wonder how these next incredible bits of bytes will reach an audience worthy of my wisdom. I seek this wisdom from the comfort of a king-sized bed in my pajamas. And I stare at the screen, puzzled.
I’m puzzled because as I write these words time is evaporating. I am no longer in my 20s, fresh out of college, seeking experience so I can tell a job interviewer I have experience. I am past my 30s, no longer shocked from the early stages of parenthood. I am now beyond my 40s, unsettled by settling down.
I am in my 50s. Please don’t ask me the exact age though I’m sure my daughters would volunteer this painful information in a New York second. J
I wonder how I got here with my sanity still intact.
Or is it?
After all, I am attempting to write the bestselling novel.
It is a dream of many writers. We all know the struggle involved. It’s why I celebrate any writer of any genre who achieves success. You are my inspiration, my motivation to keep dreaming, keep writing, keep hoping.
Writing a novel is a humbling experience. In some cases, it’s humiliating. We think of an extraordinary plot, fall in love with our characters, struggle with the rewrites and revisions, torture ourselves with six different endings and worry that no one will read or like our hard work.
Yes, it is hard work.
Yes, it is torture.
If you don’t believe me, try writing a novel. Try putting your work out in public. Try dealing emotionally with a terrible review. Try dealing with a lack of self esteem. Try fighting off all the self doubt.
Every writer goes through it. But this isn’t a pity party.
This is one part of the struggle. The second part is wondering ─ as the hour glass empties its sand for each of us ─ if we are using our time wisely. Is there a need to find something more? Can I undo these chains that I myself have created?
Is social media the forever prison for writers?
Certainly, social media is a requirement for novelists and writers. We are asked by publishers to interact with readers and potential customers. Readers are our “clients.”
Our clients are on social media. We have to be. It’s an obligation. There’s much joy that comes from it. Many readers are now friends.
So I stare some more at the screen.
Am I truly living life?
What if today is the last day God gives me? What would I want to do with this day? How should I live it? Certainly not behind a computer screen. Would you?
I think of you. I think of me. I think of all my friends who I’ve never met. Never heard their laugh. Never shook their hand or kissed their cheek. Never raised a glass to celebrate getting together and sharing a meal.
So I pretend and take myself to other worlds through my writing. I live other lives and walk in different times, sharing masked emotions. It’s not real, yet it is to me. So I write some more. I struggle to sleep. I live through my characters. I find places of pleasure. I imagine moments that can never happen.
What would my twenty-year-old self think of my life now?