Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Writing, Changes, Lessons

My writing life is in a deep transformation. I will tell the details eventually. For right now, you just need to know that. My whole writing world is changing. The players. The game. And, the goal. 

And, though the change has been going on for almost a month, and I am at great peace with the change, I woke up this morning with a sad, frustrated, stuck feeling about my writing life.

The need to submit, to write for a goal, to have a deadline set, to share my world, my stories, my voice was gnawing at me.

If this were two years ago, my method to get myself to write would have been to beat myself up a lot over all the failures I’ve had, beat myself into submission, literally, into submitting something, somewhere…in desperation and in fear. If this were two years ago, I would try to use failure as a motivator to write.

Not any more.

Sure, I heard the beating myself up words tumbling around in the head. Something like this: Look at you. You’re 40 years old and nothing to show for it. No book deal. No new publishing credits in years, other than your own blog or your own literary anthology. You have nothing to show for all the years of school and study in creative writing. YOU SUCK.

Then I was like, Hi there beating-myself-up-words. Nice to see you. Um, I’m not gonna buy into you right now. Actually, can you go fuck yourself? I’m gonna go…


Yep. I started to write. I started a blog post for another blog and then I started this.

Yes, yes, it’s true. I haven’t had anything published in a few years by anyone other than myself. Okay… I had an article in the SCBWI Bulletin a year ago. But in the scheme of everything, my publishing goals are still not reached. And, with the changes going on, it’s possible that my journey make take even longer than I once thought.

And, yes, I am 40 years old. But….look at other folks over 40 who had their big successes later in life:

So I take that. I take that concrete, real evidence that success after 40 is possible. I take, too, that my definition of success and my publishing goals may have to change. But who cares? Really? Who cares?

Not me. Not me. 


John said...

Hi, Hannah...
You are a brave writer to share the thoughts that so many of us have about the beating-myself-up-words. I think that writers must be able to contain these words somehow, and your solution -- writing -- sounds like the right mechanism.

Unlike Olympic athletes (or, some would argue, theoretical physicists) there are no age limits for writers. James Tiptree, Jr. has always been my inspiration as a writer who did not bloom until she was in her 50s.

Best Regards.

Hannah R. Goodman said...

John, Thank you for your comment : ) Thank you for your support! My hope is that I will be a late bloomer. Writing truly has no age limit!

Kip Wilson said...

Thanks for sharing, Hannah! You know I love your words! I'll be cheering you on wherever your transformation takes you. XO

Hannah R. Goodman said...

Kip, Thank you for your support! I love your words too!!! H

Joanne Carnevale said...

I had a heartfelt comment all written, tried to publish it, but Google delayed it by texting me a code before signing me in. After they accepted me, my words were gone. I'm so sorry. Please know that my remarks were oozing with support for you. I used the word powerhouse to describe you. Really upset with Google right now.

Hannah R. Goodman said...

Joanne, I have no doubt that you wrote a beauty of a comment. Your support always inspires me to continue. I use you as one of the great ladies who lives life to the fullest no matter what. You have courage and I think of you when I start to get way too deep into my head. xoxox

Jackie Hennessey said...

Hannah, I tried commenting yesterday too, but I hit a Google glitch. I had a very thoughtful response all laid out too. All I can say is thank you for always being honest with yourself and with your readers (and writer friends too). I have been stuck for a while as far as my writing life, and I will never forget how many times you've helped give me hope again! Your words mean something. Your writing means something. You are a talented writer and mentor and all I know is, whatever you have planned for the future, I have a feeling you're going to kick some ass!

Hannah R. Goodman said...

JACKIE! Thank you for your words and your support, as always. The road of Writer is TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH! I know that YOU know that too! xoxox

Kirsten said...

I have always reminded myself that Madeleine Albright came to her professional success after she had lived quite a successful personal life. Right there with you, sister. Or, as I am a few years older, maybe I am 'leading the way'...one can only hope! Love you!