I’m not old, and I’m not saying I am. But I really don’t feel my age. I have friends who are all different ages, including two who are still in their mid-20s. I really do sometimes forget my age. And then sometimes I’m reminded, and I have to laugh.
I have a 25-year-old friend who knows EVERYTHING. He’s smart and makes good arguments. So good, that I sometimes find myself wanting to believe what he’s saying, even when I know he’s not right. As I listened to him say something the other day in that arrogant so-sure-I’m-right tone, I realized that I was listening to my 25 year-old-self.
I was really annoying.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m still a know-it-all. But I’m able to keep my mouth firmly closed and my opinions to myself on occasion. That’s what happens as you get older, I guess. You learn that not every pearl of wisdom that enters your head needs to be shared with the world.
And that they’re not all pearls.
A long time ago, I remember reading that Dean Koontz hated some of his early novels and let them go out of print. That he didn’t want them re-issued because he didn’t like them. I thought he was crazy! Why not let your early works be re-published? If people want to read them, they can’t be bad.
With age comes wisdom. I get it now.
I look at some of the stuff I wrote in my 20s and cringe. I wasn’t a bad writer. In fact, for school papers and stuff like that, I was way above average. So much so that I thought my fiction writing must be exemplary as well.
It wasn’t. At all. Really.
I had an immature writing style, and yes, I have some things published online that I wish I could go back and edit, because they’re not as good as they could be. But the thing is, that I believe that throughout our lives, we should constantly strive for improvement. Perfection doesn’t exist, so all any of us can hope to do is be a little better today than we were yesterday. As long as I’m striving for improvement, my writing will never be as good today as it will be tomorrow, and so on. I can’t just keep going back and changing what I wrote; when would it end?
I enjoy writing. Most of the time, it’s fun. My goal is to keep it fresh and fun, and to write for myself first. Maybe I won’t like what I wrote in the past; maybe I’ll see all the flaws. But you know, I don’t think that matters. Yeah, I was annoying at 25, but I wasn’t boring. And as well all know, friends, boring is about the worst thing I can imagine being. I have great affection for my 25 year old self (even if I would sort of like to go back and slap her.)
So I’m older and wiser, and in another 10 years, I wonder what I’ll think of what I wrote today.