Inspiration

All set to blog about where we find inspiration for our stories, I scouted the internet in search of a relatable quote.  Instead, I found this one by George Eliot:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

In doing some research on George (born Mary Anne Evans), I discovered that, although she did some translating, her first book was not published until 1859; when she was forty years old.  Erma Bombeck was also forty when her first book, “At Wit’s End”, was published.  Maya Angelou was forty-one, as was Mary Higgins Clark, and Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich both weren’t published until they were forty-four.  Granted, many of these women had articles or non-fiction pieces published a few years earlier, but today I’m talking about their stories.

Several women in my writer’s groups are over forty, though I’ve yet to learn at what age they first became published.  Still, since I’ve turned the big four-oh this year, and am attempting to get my first book published, it’s made me think.  So now, rather than writing about where my stories come from, I’ll steer the conversation along the course of life’s plans & what takes some of us so long to realize our dreams.

I always knew I wanted to write…someday…but I had other things I wanted to do before I took pen in hand professionally.  At the age of five I was frustrated that I couldn’t make up my mind over what career to choose from; teacher, doctor, mother, & several others that I don’t even remember.  When I was done with my kindergarten conniption, my mom informed me that there was one profession where I could be ALL of those things and more.  The moment she mentioned acting I was sold.  Not only would I get to delve into all manner of roles & psyches, but I would also get to travel the globe.

The other career that mom failed to mention that would’ve fit this bill was that of author.  When I write, I get to travel to different locales in my head, and if I want to truly capture a character’s essence, I need to become said character.  It’s even better than acting, because I don’t have to be a certain size, or have a certain look in order to achieve fame.  As an author, I can be villain and hero all in one book — sometimes even in one day — and often while wearing my pajamas.

As for the other inspiration I mentioned, it took a friend’s suggestion that I write about a teenaged girl who loves Sherlock Holmes and prog rock for me to have that cosmically-aligned A-HA moment.  Tabitha (my protagonist) & her stories came flowing out of me, as well as the people she encounters along the way.

It took me nearly forty years to find that inspiration, so it makes me wonder; was it just that I needed enough life experience to be able to write well?  Did my own life need to be fleshed out before I could do the same for my stories?  Or was it simply that my desire to be a writer was no longer willing to take a backseat to whatever other career I fancied first?

Regardless of where the motivation came from, this is where I am now.  And George was right…I’m right on time.

What inspired you to finally live your dream?  I’d love to hear your story.

Advertisements

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane Vallere
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:22:06

    I love that quote! And I think that everything you’ve said rings true: we are where we are for a reason. In my twenties, I knew everything. Thirties, I had other priorities. Now, I’m more willing to push everything else aside and strive for my own goals.

    Best of luck achieving yours!

    Reply

  2. Dana
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:31:48

    I was the big 40-plus when I got my first novel published, so add me to this distinguished list!

    I always knew I wanted to write, but got sidetracked by acting (heh) – the two really do have a lot in common in that they both require you to expose yourself (or parts thereof) to the world…

    Lovely post!

    Reply

  3. Ellis Vidler
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 16:01:41

    I was well over forty when my first book was published. In part, it’s because I didn’t believe in myself and try before then. The Internet and access to other writers and their stories and advice are what gave me the confidence to finish a novel and send it off. Of course I wish I’d started earlier, but I listened to all the “impossible” tales and didn’t. My advice is don’t wait. Start now and go for it.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 16:05:36

      Thank you, Ellis! The self-doubt can certainly be a killer – or at least an effective staller. Congratulations on your success & thank you for posting a comment. 🙂

      Reply

  4. mysti
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 17:17:28

    Mom was my inspiration–her fledgling attempts got me started in fifth grade. after her death, I pushed from runaway to MFA, and have been supporting myself as a writer for twenty years.

    the courage to try fiction came from the film biz..that’s another story!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 21:43:52

      Wow, Mysti! Sounds like you’ve got quite a story in your own history to tell. 🙂 I’m sure your mother is proud of you for all you’ve accomplished.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Me on Blog Catalog

Philosophy Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: