I’m the youngest member in my prompt-based writing group. I knew that going into it. Younger writers have come and gone, but I’m the one who stuck. Usually this isn’t an issue. We’re all adults, we’re all writers, and that’s all there is to it. Except when it’s not.
Our group meets just about every Monday. And you may recall how Valentine’s Day fell on Monday this year. My husband made dinner reservations and I sent my regrets to the group.
This past weekend, I ran into one of the women from the writing group who told me, yes, they still met despite the holiday. She informed me I was the only one young enough to still enjoy such things. And that they had a few jokes at my expense.
Now, I know this is all light-hearted teasing. As the youngest by two decades (at least), I have to expect some ribbing.
But it does make me wonder sometimes. Because I’m the youngest, do they treat me differently? Are they less critical about my work so they don’t discourage me?
The group is comprised mostly of hobbyists and those who turned to writing later in life, some after they retired from an unrelated career. Then there’s me, someone who also turned to writing later in life, but a few years after grad school, not decades. I often lament the fact that I didn’t do it sooner – say when I was still in school and in a position to take creative writing classes. And now, everyday, there’s more rampant speculation about ebooks and the state of the industry, of writers younger and older than me getting book deals.
I’ve heard if you don’t publish by 30, you won’t make it. Like any piece of writing advice, you can take it or leave it. But as someone who’s barely clinging to what’s left of my twenties, statements like these strike fear in my heart.
Then I think about the people in my group. They write, regardless of the odds, regardless of the fact some whippersnapper like me is snapping at their heels. They simply write. And so must I.
In other news, today marks the one-year anniversary of The Bluestocking Blog. This time last year, I posted my Declaration of Intent. And it’s been a crazy fun ride (and a lot of work) ever since.
Thank you to all who have commented, followed, tweeted, shared, and otherwise welcomed me to the Writing Blogosphere. I am humbled. And I am looking forward to another year!