Read an entry on Metafilter about Charlie Stross and the “writing lifestyle” which, I concur, isn’t so much of a lifestyle as it is telecommuting without a target. I was reminded of a few things, and learned a few things that were oddly reassuring, especially as I’m in the process of crafting a query letter and book proposal for the right agent, who is somewhere in my star pattern now.
I learned one interesting factoid:
The average age of entry into full time writing is 34. Well, by golly, I’m 34. I think I’ll stay 34 for a while, maybe a year or so.
I find this strangely reassuring. I’m average. I’m not hopelessly behind and dog-paddling in the kiddie lane like I thought I was. I’m right there with the rest of the class, right down to feeling confused as hell as publishing somersaults through incomprehensible change.
There’s a sort of post-modern entitlement theme these days of “I’m 30, where’s my sportscar?” I see a lot. Nearly every 30 something I knew went through some sort of identity crisis around 29/30 at the shocking realization that they have no accomplished all the stuff you’re supposed to by age 30. I did, too, though I tried to stifle it. These individuals are also quite surprised that they do not immediately cease to exist in a poof! of cultural irrelevance.
By now it’s pretty clear what Qabala and all those other traditions are talking about: you don’t calm the fuck down until you’re 30, and you finally get bored with the drama instead of seeking it out.
While in many ways I still feel hopelessly amateur, especially coming into this project, I accept that I have a long way to go and I’m learning to live without the guarantees. But if someone can point me at how to do the whole agent hunt/query thing right, I’d be grateful.