Wednesday, January 5, 2022

IWSG: Regrets, I've Had a Few


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

This month's optional question: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken! Be sure to check out their posts as well as the rest of the blog hop after you're finished here. 
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Wasted time. At least that's what it sometimes feels like. 

I played at writing all my life, but didn't take it seriously until I was getting ready to turn 42 and had an age-panic (Thanks to Douglas Adams who taught me that 42 was the answer to life, the universe, and everything) that made me finally commit to to a daily writing practice and to finishing things and submitting them. 

So now that I'm fifty, eight years into treating my writing with some respect, and six years into a career as a published writer (my first novel: Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel was first published in 2015), I look back at all the years that I only played with words and wonder what I might have created, if only I'd put in the work a little sooner. 

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It can be easy to fall into darkness, wondering what you missed out on because of the choices you made. Regret is insidious that way. 

But I also know that timing is everything. After all I first met the man I share with life with when he was seventeen and I was twenty, but we weren't right for each other then. When we re-met in our thirties? That was the right time for magic. 

Whenever we play the what-if time travel game, I always say that I wouldn't change anything. And mostly, I mean that. There have been unhappy times in my life, but those experiences are why I am who I am and part of the journey that brought me here. And here is pretty darn good. 

So all those years that I daydreamed, and traveled, and read, and stayed up late talking and even the time I spent crying and feeling worthless or angry or any number of other negative things…all of that fed my soul and made me who I am, and that's the heart of the stories I write now. 

So, maybe that time wasn't wasted after all. 

19 comments:

  1. I think we all can see time we wasted. But like you say, there are other good things we do during those times. I don't regret the time I did other things I needed to do and enjoyed doing. Even now having a balance is more important than a writing career for me.

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  2. I spent a lot of time convinced that I should be pretty much anything other than a writer, all while spending every free moment writing one story or another. So maybe some wasted time there, but maybe, like you said, some of that experience is helping me and my writing out now.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Ripples. You never know what you've set in motion.

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  3. Yes, I’ve wasted time too, faffing around on my computer when I should ha e been concentrating on the WIP.
    Wishing you all possible luck in 2022.

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  4. My thinking too. I am who I am because of my past. Good, bad or ugly, it's all mind. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Exactly. Like Ray Bradbury's butterfly, you don't know how important a small thing really was.

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  5. What a great story about how you and your husband met so young, but then came across each other later!
    I agree that no time is wasted. After all, life experience always makes you a better writer.

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  6. You're right. Everything in life has its own timing. Playing what-ifs is pointless and even damaging sometimes. We do things when we are ready.

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  7. It doesn't seem that it was wasted. I think we all do things when the time comes. Good luck with future pursuits!

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. Right? It's not wasted even if it wasn't exactly efficient.

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  8. I believe the same thing...that the bad thing, the hard things I've gone through had made me who I am, and, in a way, I am grateful for that.

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  9. Wasted time would definitely be on my list of writing regrets, but it's in the past, so there's really no point in guilt. Best to look forward and try to be more mindful of time.

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