Watched a documentary about Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young last night. By the end, they smelled of burnout and over-the-hill.
I've run into this a lot with creatives; people who had entire careers, usually starting off with a bang (or they wouldn't have a career, I guess.) Then they struggle, then they come back--in a lessor more subdued sort of way, often resting on their prior success. I know that's just the way the story is shaped, but there is no disguising that in most cases, these creatives have more or less given up by the time they reach my age.
When I came back to writing, I was charged up and optimistic. It was as if I simply picked up the thread that my 32 year old self had dropped. I still feel that way. I don't feel like this is the end of the line, but more toward the beginning.
I'm more mature in how I handle it. (My work habits were completely dysfunctional in my earlier efforts.) But the creativity--if anything--is greater, not lesser. I have more freedom. I have nothing to lose.
I'm glad now that I chose the path of being a bookstore owner, instead of trying to make a writing career work. When I finally had time to write, I came back with renewed energy, and I wasn't dependent on it, or expecting too much of it. Just the premise that I could improve each time, that one of these days I could put it all together and write the "great" book.
I'm actually sort of impressed that the books came out as well as they did. "Led to the Slaughter" is a pretty good book, even if it was my first book out this time. I put the time and effort in, and I can look back and be pleased.
I'm taking a break from writing. I plan to come back with a stronger focus. But none of my enthusiasm has dissipated. No chance of burnout that I can see. My actual age isn't a factor, as far as I can tell.
This still happening.
2 weeks ago