Monday, July 23, 2012

One writer's disappointment

Whenever I read an article like this one, I am struck by an overwhelming mixture of envy and remorse. Since high school (a very long time ago), I have wanted to write ... and to write and to write. For too many years, I had assumed I was only a step or two from literary success. If only I could find the time to write. If only I could get away from the distractions and responsibilities of home life. If only I had a computer, which would make revision so much simpler. If only I could get a publisher or an agent to look at my work and take it seriously.

I am still in that purgatory of having written but never succeeded, never overcome the barriers. For years, I excused myself for not feeling like sitting at the keyboard in the evening after slaving over a keyboard and words all day at the newspaper editor's desk. Even when it seemed a bitter injustice in the form of a job layoff gave me the time to write and I spent hours each day working on novels, I never found that agent or that publisher who thought my work was worthwhile.

I am buoyed by the remark included in most writers' success stories about how difficult it is to be published by traditional publishing houses these days, but it still does not assuage the disappointment that I never became what I had fully expected to be 45 years ago. Instead, I have become something I never foresaw: a most fortunate husband and father and proud grandfather.

I could add to that list: failed writer. But not yet. I'm still writing, still trying to carve out the time, to buckle down, to get it done, to say something worthy of being read. Still trying after all these years.

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