What’s Your Excuse For Not Writing?
You’re too old?
What’s too old? What’s too young? What’s just right? What are you, Goldilocks?
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote Little House On the Prairie in her 60’s. That was after she wrote her autobiography, Prairie Girl, at age 60 and could not get it published. She persevered, revised her manuscript, and wrote Little House. If that “old lady” hadn’t written her book, she would never have shared her story with the world, for generations to come. Do you think of Laura Ingalls Wilder as an old lady? Or as the full woman she was, with a grand and heart-bending story that stretched from childhood through adulthood? How do you think of yourself? How do you want to be remembered? Hm?
You’re a bonehead who doesn’t deserve success?
Laura’s daughter burned her house down during the early years of Laura’s marriage. Should she have watched her daughter better? Was she a failure who didn’t deserve to feel good about herself ever again? Uh. Somehow she managed to retain her self-esteem enough to write her own autobiography, suffer rejection for it, continue writing, and ultimately become the beloved storyteller we all know.
You had a hard life growing up and you’re just not meant to be successful or make money?
Laura revered her father and mother, the famous “Pa” and “Ma” from Little House on the Prairie, but did you ever stop to consider what abject failures they were – if you care to look at the arc of their lives in a negative light? They dragged their young children around from home to home, eking out a living on the land, sometimes enduring spectacular crop failures. They lost money. For a time they lived in a sod house under a hill. They almost didn’t make it running for their lives from their barn to their home in a blind-out snowstorm, and would have died leaving a houseful of untended children. One of their daughters lost her site from scarlet fever. They made their children work hard and they never became wealthy.
Hell, that same story, lived by another couple with a different set of personalities and outlook on life, might have played out in Laura’s head as nothing but heartache, failure, worry, stupid decisions, poverty, blame, and not being cared for. But that’s not how Laura’s parents saw their lives and not how Laura experienced hers. It’s not the “what happened” that determines your satisfaction with life. It’s the “what I choose to think about what happened.”
So your story is not cast in stone by what your parents provided or withheld, or how your husband loved you or abused you, or how your career soared or sank, or what you did or didn’t do in the past. Your story is now, and what you decide about now. That is all. That is everything.
If you want to be a writer, sit down. Shut up. And write.
The Women At Woodstock 2016 Writer’s Retreat welcomes all writers – published, unpublished, polished, new. Everyone has a story worth telling. And everyone who wants to tell her story deserves to receive coaching, feedback, guidance, information about the publishing world, and help. And maybe a little kick in the pants by a surrounding circle of caring, smart, positive women who encircle you and say, “Do it!”
That’s the Women At Woodstock Writers Retreat. Not an application to see of you “qualify.” An invitation. Join us. Sign up here: