I’m supposed to be a retired author, but I’ve got so many ideas popping into my head that I sometimes think I could write another forty books. At my age, I suppose, it’s not practical to think along these lines. I mean, getting published isn’t as easy these days as it used to be – not that it was all that easy in the old days, but you could send along a couple of chapters of your manuscript to a publisher and if they liked what they read they could ask for the complete manuscript and then, if they were willing to take a chance on you, your work was published. These days you need to find yourself an agent who will then approach a publisher on your behalf, and so everyone gets a slice of the cake, if you know what I mean. And then there’s the tax man; he needs to get his slice of the cake too. And if you don’t want to end up with the crumbs then you need to get yourself a good tax lawyer who will make your relationship with the tax man less painful. The latter, of course, also needs to get his slice of the cake.
Oh, woe is me!
When I was younger I took all these things in my stride, but it all seems so complicated now that I’m not too sure I want to go that way again.
Now that’s a very negative thought. I’m not basically a negative person. I usually look on the bright side of life. I simply expect things to work out alright, and they normally do. When things don’t pan out as I’d hoped I naturally feel the jolt of disappointment, but I get over it and get on with whatever I’m busy with. That’s the way it is with me. There’s always the hope that one will succeed, that if you reach out for that dream it might become a reality.
It’s good to dream. If we let go of our dreams then we have nothing left. Dreams are but hopes dressed up in tinsel, and so we hope and we dream and we work at making that dream a reality. Oh, yes, it’s good to dream, but it often takes blood, sweat and tears to make your dream come true.
As a young girl I dreamed of becoming a writer. I loved the written word and I would scribble away at my little stories whenever I had an opportunity. It was my secret dream, my secret passion, and for a long time I never told anyone about it. I was in my mid thirties when I first had my work published, and it took a lot of encouragement and persuasion to get me to this point in my life. I was my own worst enemy; I was never satisfied with what I had written. I wanted it to be perfect; it had to be perfect, but being a perfectionist can have its drawbacks. These days I am more inclined to write it as I see it. It’s more important to get the story down on paper and to worry about the grammar afterwards. If you hover over every word you could so easily lose the essence of what you want to say. I learned this the hard way, but I don’t have any regrets. We learn by our mistakes, and I’m sure most people can relate to that.
And so I’m back where I started. I’m a retired author. Does an author ever really retire? I don’t think so. I’m still writing and hoping and dreaming, and whether I venture into publishing, or not, it doesn’t matter. I find pleasure in what I’m doing and that’s all that really matters. I was lucky, once, to have my work published. If that luck swings my way again, regardless of my age, I shall consider myself fortunate and then, I suppose, none of my initial worries will matter. What complex beings we are, but …C’est la vie.