Friday, September 11, 2009
Fountain of Youth
On other fronts...
Fountain of Youth
I no longer have any children in elementary school. My younger started middle school this year, as evidenced by my attendance at curriculum night last night, complete with adults rustling in the halls trying to find the way through the maze of the basement to the art room. I have no worries about it—he is my orderly child who’s always diligently done his homework and practiced his instrument (challenges we’ve had to ride my daughter on constantly). But things like… a girl calling my ten year old to find out his home room in August remind me it isn’t just school—he is making strides in all areas of his life.
Likewise, my creative, social daughter has entered high school, complete with a sports team with a rather brutal workout schedule and the struggle between independence and wanting to be doted on that comes with the switch.
I’m getting older, too. It hasn’t escaped me that in jobs I’ve gone from the young one to the middle one to the older one—or that my social circles over the years have found me moving from the mean to the older range, and there are times it seems maybe it is time for me to grow up.
Enter the writing circle…
I’ve noticed a LOVELY detail that makes me feel MUCH better! Writers aren’t a barely post-teen batch of people! In networking I see a handful of twenty-somethings (mostly writing paranormal, it seems)—late 20’s and early 30’s write some Romance… but writers by and large are a more seasoned bunch.
I like it, but it’s caused me to contemplate WHY? My theories?
Takes some living to write about life. Younger people just have fewer experiences from which to draw and experiences with fewer kinds of people to really be able to objectively look at human interactions and the human condition. For domains like fantasy this isn’t a draw-back, but for realistic genres, I believe it is.
Writing takes practice. Even people who don’t start trying to write novels until they are older, have for the most part done jobs where writing was required, sometimes journalism, but ANY writing is intended to communicate, and it makes us better at communicating our tale. At the very least, they’ve written on their own.
Time gives events a context. I think my early writing fit in the single small contexts in which they were written, but without a broader view, I think it is hard to make a wide variety of others really understand and it is hard to notice some of the details we take for granted that make scenes fit so well to the story.
So I guess I am glad to have discovered I can play with kids my own age, and still have fun doing it. Not that I don’t LOVE all the younger ones I play with, but it’s nice not to always be the tallest kid in the room… if you know what I mean…