Thirty-two years young

So I'm thirty-two today. I'm not saying this so all of you will wish me a wonderful, lucky, writerly year (though, now that I think about it, feel free to send some of those wishes my way!), I'm bringing it up because it hit me last night that my thirtieth year was some sort of turning point.

By the end of that year I had cut my hair (which had been long for years), changed the color, and begun the tedious, fun, exasperating, exciting, educational journey of writing. If I'd known how different that year was going to be, I probably wouldn't have been so upset about the big 3-0. But I was. I didn't want to be older. I felt as though I was stuck in a rut of I don't-even-know-what -- with nothing to show for myself, personally. Sure, I had a wonderful family, a wonderful husband, and three beautiful girls. But something was missing. Come to find out, it was getting a story that I had on my heart down on paper.

Did that story turn me into this famous, awesome novelist with an agent and a book deal? No. Did I hold on to that first story for dear life and do what I could to try and make it get somewhere? Yes. But it didn't go anywhere. I moved on. I started another one, and even another. And now here I am, a year and a half into this journey, and though at times I feel frustrated and useless and as though I should be put into a straight jacket and thrown into a looney bin, I am loving it. I'm loving the process of all things writerly, loving the people I've met all over the internet who write, strive to keep their lives even by working their butts off and work/home and writing every chance they get, and are there to support their fellow writers and keep them informed and inspired along the journey.

Who knows where my thirty-second year will take me. I am hoping for great things. I am hoping for a synopsis that rocks at least one agent's socks, for a query that shows my vision for a wonderful book. I am expecting another year of laughs and tears and screaming between me, Lovemuffin and the girls. And I can't wait to continue this entire journey with all of you - my writerly friends - my friends who get me, who get IT - the constant, nagging feeling that we can do something, that we can put thousands upon thousands of words together straight from our hearts and create another world for readers everywhere.

So here's to another year, my friends. Here's to camaraderie and inspiration and accomplishments beyond our wildest dreams. Cheers!

(Also, my first *ever* guest blog is up at The Sharp Angle, titled Neglected Character Types in Women's Fiction. Lydia Sharp is a writer and great blogger of all things literary and I would love if you'd check stop by there and check it out! Feel free to follow her blog too, she's a great gal!)


Lydia Sharp said...

Your personal story is nearly exact to mine. Wow.

I turned 32 last month, and I'd started my professional writing journey a few months shy of my 30th birthday, with pretty much the same feelings about where I was in life as you stated here. And I also held onto that first novel longer than I should have, but eventually moved on to other stories, two of which are now published.

Hoping for great things to come your way soon. And thanks for the awesome guest post!

word ver: grows
really? this feels like a message from Karma. weird.

Linda G. said...

Happy Birthday! I really enjoyed your guest blog, too. :)

Kate Lydston said...

Happy Birthday! It's a wonder what our thirties do for us, kicking our booties into action. Here's to a great year, a great agent, a great publisher, and Arabian Mocha Sanani. Cheers.

BK Mattingly said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great year!

Melissa Hurst said...

Happy birthday! May this year bring you the best of luck with your writing:)

Sierra Godfrey said...

I too started my writing journey at around age 30 and it took me a long time to figure out what i was doing. You're going onward and upward...I know it. Happy birthday!!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Bethany and Melissa - Thanks for the great wishes!

Lydia - That is crazy, and another thing I love so much about meeting all of you - finding out I'm not the only one in this rocky boat! Congrats on the two published so far. I wish you many more to come! And the word verification? Wow! (Maybe it's a sign!?!?!)

Linda - Thanks. I saw your comment on there and will be over shortly to comment on it;)

Kate - I'm loving all of those. I'm thinking our thirties will be the best decade yet!

Sierra - You know exactly where I started, so to hear that from you means a LOT! Thank you!

COFFEES all around! *slurp*

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! You are definitely a talented young woman and only great success is in your future as a writer.

Unknown said...

A very happy birthday, it's a lovely age to be! :0)

Lila Swann said...

Happy birthday, Miss Jessica! I'm sure 32 will be your best year yet.

Regina said...

This is a great post. But don't be harsh on yourself. Good things happen to good people and you are one of them. 32 was a great year for me and now it will soon be wait, how will I be...oh yeah. I will be 37. I don't like to keep track. lol Have a great year.

Cassandra Frear said...

What an advantage to begin your writing journey at 30. I began mine at 48, even though I had many opportunities, because I was overwhelmed by the idea of pursuing it while homeschooling my kids.

Of course, we can't go back, and I did what I did because of who I was. I'm not a multi-tasker. So I'm accepting it and trying not to ask "what if?"

Now, from this vantage point, I think 32 is a lovely age to be. But turning 30 was very difficult for me. I felt so disappointed in myself.

Now, I'm at the age where I'm just glad to have another year. My sons are men, and I've turned my energies in an entirely new direction.

So Happy Birthday! 32 looks good on you!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy birthday! Every year brings growth and changes.

30 really bugged me, but I was okay with 40.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

I also went from long to short this summer. It felt great.

Wishing you the best with your writing.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Catherine - Thank you!

Carole - It is! I'm very happy to be 32!=)

Lila - Thanks. I sure am hoping so:)

Regina - I don't like to keep track either, though I had lost count there for a while somehow and I thought I was ALREADY 32! LOL!

Cassandra - Your age just may be a good thing for you - raising boys and everything has probably given you a better insight for your writing. And being able to focus on it entirely is definitely a plus!

L. Diane - I'm seeing a trend about women not liking turning 30. I think I'll be fine when I turn forty, too. (That could be because my kids will all have turned 18 already! Less stress - or maybe just a new kind of it;) )

Medeia - Thanks for the wishes. And yes, long to short is great. It feels more "me". =)