Has My Ship Sailed?

Why do I keep writing?

Why do I continue to work on embracing a creative life and spend day after day wrestling with words, having just crossed the 70th invisible benchmark of a life?

Society, as least in the U.S., embraces ageism. I likely won’t find a mainstream publisher for anything I produce, and unlikely to find an agent at this point. Not that either is a goal (truth is writers have much more success self-publishing these days unless among the top 2% who collectively get most of the money doled out by publishers). Like many things in life, either you’re young and upcoming, or older and well-known or famous. That ship has sailed for me, but does not mean I can’t roam the high seas of wordsmithing in my own way.

I write because I enjoy working with words and seeing my improvements. No question the early creation process and the last steps to publish are the best parts. In between? Helluva lot of effort, grinding work, and days when I have to push myself to get to my writing desk. Other days it’s more of a pull, eager to sit and work. There are, fortunately, enough bright and shiny spots amongst the grinding days to make it (overall) enjoyable.

I write because I have something to say, something to share from a life lived in observation and experience. Not unique in that perspective. But because I lack a terrible childhood, alcoholic and abusive parents, a string of failed marriages, or emotionally damaging addictions, I can’t write from the pit of angst and ruin. From there I would have a marketable success story to share about my rise like a Phoenix above the ashes of a self-destructive life. Those reasons are probably why I’m not a good poet either, nor worthy of singing the blues.

At this point in my life, the desire to write has no ulterior motive to make a living from it, and that is freeing. But the spirit is still there to continue the daily creative effort, even on those days when only editing, aka, doing the devil’s workload, is far less pleasurable than early drafts birthing fresh ideas. I have journals and files full of those. While I adopt an "all about the journey" attitude about life, Seth Godin says eventually you have to ship something and get on to the next project.

Know someone who would enjoy reading this and subscribe to garyvarner.com? Please help support my work by forwarding this post to them.

Subscribe to Gary Varner

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.