My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks (turns out my birthday isn't far from Christine's, should anyone want to pop over and say happy birthday to her!).
Traditionally a time of reflection, taking stock, goal setting.
A birthday six weeks after Christmas can make a person lazy. You make all your resolutions and by the time the next Big Taking Stock moment rolls around, it's acceptable not to have started working on things. It's only been a few weeks, I've been busy, I'll start soon, it's only February. I feel if my birthday fell a month later, it would be a more effective nudge back towards my goals.
And I'd be a Pisces. For better or for worse.
Anyway, effective or not, birthdays always make me think. Am I where I imagined I would be at this age? (Is anyone ever where they imagined they would be, at any time, though?)
I wanted to be published younger, but a very smart friend once said to me that it's not important to be published young, it's important to be published well.
Another very smart friend told me a few months ago (I like to start my birthday angst early so I can get a good run at it) that if you insist on setting too many goals that you must attain by a certain age, you'll look back on your life and realise you spent a lot of time in your basement alone trying to deliver a certain quantity of achievement, and not enough time living. Another fair point.
It would be lovely if I had been hyper-productive when I was younger and had gotten published years ago. But I wasn't, and I didn't. I've always written in conjunction with a day job (good training, since the statistics say I probably always will. . .) I didn't commit myself seriously to a single project until I was 24. I've taken my first project slowly, I've been derailed a few times, and I may never write fecking historical fiction ever again. Ahem.
That being said, this is my journey. These are the lessons I've had to learn. And I'm not about to start wishing away journey time and saying that I want to be published in the morning, if not sooner. I want to be published, sure, but I want to be ready for the reality of the career that follows it if and when it happens. I want to have made some mistakes and learned some lessons.
And I'm willing to wait until the time is right for me, regardless of how old I happen to be.
Remind me about this when I'm querying, guys. Seriously.