Aging and Writing

Picture me cleaning the house, headphones on, music thrumming in my ears as I belt out the tune. That’s when this blog came to me. Why, you might ask, did my brain formulate a blog on aging while I jammed to my tunes scrubbing the bathroom? Well, I’ll tell you. It partially had to do with the string of songs that played: Take it to the house by Trick Daddy, Savior by Rise Against, Already Gone by Crossfade, Stop this Train by John Mayer (I could go on but I won’t). My sixteen year old daughter and I have very similar taste in music and as I continued to sway and wipe, I recalled what my mother has often said, “I still feel twenty-five inside.” As a young woman, I didn’t really understand what she meant.

As a kid, adulthood stood as a far off magical place where decisions would become clearer and life easier. Now, as a woman in my forties, I understand the meaning of my mother’s sentiment. I too feel the same way, but I would say I feel more like twenty. :) You will be happy to note that the illusion of adulthood has long ago been shattered and I understand that living a full life at any age comes with its challenges and rewards.

There are moments when I’m reminded that I’m NOT that young woman anymore. Although I still love to dance for hours on end, my body lets me know that grooving barefoot on a hard cement floor comes at a price.  I always think it’s worth it the day after, especially if I stretch when I’ve finished boogieing.

My husband often says that aging is a flawed system because as you grow wiser, your body grows crankier and that life is exceedingly too short. I sort of halfway agree.  I’m rather looking forward to the day, when I’m in my 60s (I’m guessing), that my appearance will matter a lot less and what people think of me or my writing won’t matter at all (Okay, maybe that last part is just plain delusion).

My husband and I just watched, Starting Out in the Evening on Sundance, which is a movie about an aging author, rather appropriate given what’s been on my mind and although I tend to shy away from slow plotting films, this one was wrought with sexual tension that kept me interested. One particular section of the movie, where the author talks about the writing process really moved me.  He discussed how he starts with a character and then follows the protagonist around, to find out more about him or her and what will happen. I can completely identify with that process. He also said that because he is older, it’s harder to follow and stay engaged than when he was a younger man.

The narrative of the movie told about the older writer in relationship with a twenty-five year old grad student that had decided to write her thesis about him and his novels.  I would guess him to be in his eighties and obviously conflicted about their age difference. He had published four books in total and had been working on his fifth for ten years. I won’t give anymore of the story away other than to say that I don’t think we, as authors, stop caring what our readers think of our work, no matter how old.

In Stephen King’s On Writing, he mentioned that he has less stamina for writing than he did in the early days.  Maybe I will find this true as I get older but I believe that when the tidal wave of the story takes over, I will be typing as fast as ever to stay afloat.

As an author myself, writing is my art and I hope it translates to other people regardless of my age. It’s so very rewarding when my readers are truly moved by my words and “get it” (“Get it”, is defined by seeing it the way I do. If they don’t, that is okay too unless they compare me to 50 Shades of Grey which is a different genre and then I want to scream. Sorry for the aside which should probably be another blog and might morph into one in the future. 😉 ).

I, so very turned on by the written word, intend to keep writing until I’m too old to type another letter.  At least that’s the plan.

Please share your viewpoint on aging and writing because I always love to hear from my readers and other authors.

Warm hugs,

Blakely

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3 thoughts on “Aging and Writing

  1. I used to think that I couldn’t compete in today’s world of storytelling. I asked myself “How can my story relate this brave new world where a story is told in sound bites no longer than a IM?” Stories, good ones, are timeless and so my job is to write from my heart and head the story that moves me. I have learned to write like no one’s critiquing and should it simply turn out to be therapy, well , at least there’s that.

  2. There’s truth in the thought that age and ability, at least physically, are like two elevators, one going up, one down, and your peak occurs at the point they intersect. You lack the knowledge when you have youth; you lack the energy of youth when you have the knowledge. Inside, though, I’m with you – I feel like the 20-year-old me, with an outside that could probably kick that former me’s ass.

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