Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enjoy Life

I’m young. There’s no getting around that. Sometimes it’s awesome, but sometimes it really isn’t. I started writing The Gates of Nottingham when I was 16. I was homeschooling at the time, living in the middle of nowhere, and friendless. It was a decision that I made out of the blue and it occupied me quite nicely.
Now, I’m 20 and I’ve written two novels and a half dozen screenplays. There is a real divide in the people who think this is great and the people who tell me how lame I am and it has mostly got to do with their age. I see this sharp divide despite the fact that I rarely even tell people I’m writer. A few of the people whom I work with and have worked with for seven months now know nothing about it.
I am lucky in that I appear to be in my thirties, so I get away with more as far as strangers are concerned at writers conferences and other places. A thirty-something writing a book? Good for you. A 20 year old writing a book? Don’t you have better things to do with your time?
The thing is, though, it’s my time. I can do whatever I want with it as long as it isn’t illegal. I don’t criticize other young people for dating, drinking, partying, playing video games, dancing, knitting, or whatever else they do. In fact, I could do all of those things and still write if I wanted. So, I don’t really understand the flack I get. We should all enjoy our lives and this is how I enjoy mine.
However you choose to enjoy your life, I’m happy for you too. Life is too short for us all to waste it trying to be “cool” 100% of the time.


  1. I think that what you're doing is great. When I was your age I dabbled and dreamed about writing but never finished much. Now's the time for you to do what you might not do if you get caught up in some drudge job and career. Go for it and I wish you writing success.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Rock on, Olene. Ignore the naysayers. You'll meet plenty of people who'll support you in whatever you want to do with your life and they're the ones to hold on to.

  3. What a great thing to be your age and to have your accomplishments.

    I agree with Paul, ignore the naysayers.

  4. Oh my God! And no, there is absolutely no snark in that comment. Girl, you are a writer. I'm stunned that you are only 20, and I'm not talking about this idea that you look 30, which I'm not sure I agree with. I read some of your writing on LJ a couple of years ago and thought it was really good. It prompted me to comment, which I rarely do. It was two little "drabbles" you had written, and then I came back some months later to see what else you had done and read those pieces again. Still in shock that you had to have been 17 or 18 when you wrote those.

    I'm so glad you're publishing a book. And please listen to Paul.

  5. Arlee, Paul, Journaling Woman, and RaFrenzy:

    Thanks so much for your support. When I wrote this, I was a little low because some people had been really mean to me about the whole thing. I'm not much given to emotion in general, but I was so excited about my book and then cut down in a horrible way, so I brought it to the internet. Thanks for brightening my mood.

  6. I'm sorry that happened to you, and there will continue to be people who tell you why you can't do something -- until you succeed. The same bunch will probably express great confidence in you then. Deaf ears help.