Epiphany = On her website, HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com, K.M. Weiland, posted the transcript of a podcast I listened to:
“Interestingly enough, this idea of life evolution and how age affects our perspective of and impact on life is one I’ve lately been exploring from the lens of story theory.” …currently wrapping up research for a new blog series that will explore successive archetypal character arcs, which are representative of the seasons—or acts—of life.”
The First Act—roughly, our first thirty years—is largely about defining our relationships with ourselves and our own personal identities. When the archetypal arcs of those years are properly completed, they lay the foundation for healthy arcs in the following acts.
The Second Act, made up of roughly the next thirty years, is focused on our relationships with others—friends, mates, children, community.
Finally, the Third Act—what for most of us will be the last thirty or so years in this life—then becomes the climactic act, which focuses on our relationship to Life and Death itself, in all its transcendent mystery.”
The same applies to our writing, Weiland argues, and she’s spot on. Writing for identity and exploration. Then writing for others in our adult years… and then in the last third, writing for the universe …
This is going to be a whole article. I need to just refer to it.
How many interviews with authors do we hear their “confessions” of having loved to write since early childhood, of having always dreamed of writing a book? (What kind of confession is that? Okay, they feel vulnerable in the telling. Still, they got an early start!) My story is precisely the opposite–the thought of writing for fun or any reason, of having anything at all to say other than penning flirty notes to a cute boy never crossed my mind.
If I hadn’t fallen in love with a long distance hottie, and if he hadn’t kept my letters, and if I hadn’t married the boy, I’d have no notion or record whatsoever of my young girl thoughts. I’d have no recollection of voice or opinion, or curiosity. [More on that in forthcoming works of memoir.]
You see how bizarre it was then that I landed a run of well-paid collaborative writing contracts with celebrity authors. I was not an English major. You can see why our local writers club, The Bozeman Inkslingers couldn’t believe that I didn’t know how to write in my own voice. For all intents and purposes, I was mute on the page.
Even though I was well into the middle third of life, I was yet early in the process of finding voice and developing my craft. After struggling and stressing about having something life-giving to share, I finally gave up. I quit the Inkslingers and closed the door on my playroom of sorts, where finally I had freedom to indulge in wild ideas and emotions, and throwing color at the page to see what might happen. I needed space for imagination. I needed to be young, unfettered and ridiculous.
Most of those pages were stunted–more boring than brilliant–absolutely not fit for human consumption. But slowly I became more daring with imagery and comparison, metaphor and dialog. Still new to the joy of discovery and truth telling, I grew into wanting my friends to join me in that space. Until now I’ve only invited a few trusted confidantes in. Slowly, slowly and with much prompting I want you to join us here too.
It is in this spirit, I’m share these Collections of excerpts from my private journals and essays.
Forty-nine, but Who’s Counting?
So This is Fifty: Making it Count
Thirty Years or Forever: a Story of Marriage
Mother You, Mother Me
A Writing Journal of Sorts