As I cruise into midlife, I clearly hear the echo of a friend of a friend who said, “You’d better figure it out. You’re halfway to dead.”
So, what do I have to show for the past year? In short: I quit my job, reconnected with old friends, honeymooned, knit a lot of hats (including a Yoda hat), dyed yarn with Kool-Aid, tried to swim from Alcatraz, held squirming grubs in order to feed squawking birds, visited Graceland, read nearly 30 books, and hosted Thanksgiving for the first time.
Oh, and I wrote a book!! I’m not completely finished with the revisions of said book, but I am still going to celebrate it. In the not-quite-year since I quit my full-time job, I finished a full-length novel – one which had about ten pages for the preceding three years. I have always wanted to be a writer, always dreamed of writing a novel. Still in many ways, the dream seemed as possible as my walking on the moon or winning an Olympic medal.
I do not have an agent or a publisher or any of those necessary things. Soon I’ll be shipping my book off to be judged by the harsh, capricious literary world. I’ll also be redoubling my search for paid work – validation to offset the almost-guaranteed rejection. Plus, I’ll be working on my next novel and my next short stories. I may be halfway to dead, but my dream is no longer a trip to the moon; it’s a journey through my imagination by way of my keyboard.