As we age, our perspective on almost everything changes (or perhaps matures), and for writers, their craft is no exception. This process of maturation is typically born of experience, transforming the dewy-eyed neophyte writer into the more measured
and realistic veteran, and finally, into the grizzled, broken and desperate oracle.
That's not to say that writing is less enjoyable or fulfilling as one ages. But one's perspective certainly evolves. For instance:
YOUNG WRITER: I'll just
send out a few sample chapters, and in six months, I'll be doing signings at Barnes & Noble.
VETERAN WRITER: The publishing process is a marathon, not a sprint. Dozens and dozens of editors may say no before anything positive. But perseverance is
DESPERATE ORACLE: Maybe my work will be published posthumously.
YOUNG WRITER: This is gold! Man, I'm good! Every word perfection!
VETERAN WRITER: Let your writing sit and come back to it. You'll see areas that can be improved.
Writing is rewriting! And 90% of what we write will never be published, but will simply teach us to write better.
DESPERATE ORACLE: How do you turn off the Auto Correct feature?
YOUNG WRITER: Man, I can't wait to travel to different
cities for signings, to see the sights and sample new foods while promoting my book!
VETERAN WRITER: Touring can be expensive. Unless you have a very successful book and are signed with a big publishing firm, you may have to pony up for hotel and meal
expenses yourself. And there may be no time to take in the sights.
DESPERATE ORACLE: I packed a turkey sandwich and an orange and slept in the backseat of my car in the bookstore parking lot.
YOUNG WRITER: Get rid of the Oxford comma.
VETERAN WRITER: Keep the Oxford comma.
DESPERATE ORACLE: If you're telling a great story, no editor is going to give a rat's ass about the Oxford comma.
YOUNG WRITER: Only a matter of time before I have that best-seller.
WRITER: There are thousands of books published every year. According to Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, 93% sell fewer than 100 copies.
DESPERATE ORACLE: My wife bought a copy. My friends are going to as soon as the economy improves.
YOUNG WRITER: Write to blow people's minds!
VETERAN WRITER: Write what's in your heart, the story that only you can tell.
DESPERATE ORACLE: Write to distract yourself, so that you don't hear the soft footfalls of Death as he approaches.
YOUNG WRITER: I love writing.
VETERAN WRITER: I love writing.
DESPERATE ORACLE: I love...I forget, what was it we were talking about again?