I have a very good friend who is 83 years old. We hang out together on Saturday mornings mostly, and talk about politics and history while he tells me various stories from his long and colorful life. Usually when I tell people the age of my friend they assume he has trouble getting around, or that maybe he’s in a wheelchair or has difficulty remembering details. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Every Saturday morning that I visit with my friend we walk three miles while we talk, and then he usually has to be off to another event. He’s involved in local city politics, history study groups, and the movement for mental health awareness. On top of that he takes regular Pilates and aerobics classes. This man can lift way more than I can, and he packs more into one day than I do in a whole week. I’ve known him for years so I’ve been able to observe his secret to long life and good health.
This man is not afraid to learn new skills. In fact, he embraces the process.
The results were interesting.
That was interesting to see play out in my head. And a little embarrassing.
Every writer goes through this. The first few books you write are all about learning, and then after that you start to actually master the craft. It’s normal to feel impatient with the process and to want to be a master right out of the gate, to skip all the messy mistakes and wrong turns. But, as my 83-year-old friend has taught me, the messiness of life and the pleasure of learning are what bring true joy into our existence.
So keep plugging away at it. You’re getting it, you really are. And if you feel like you’re just flailing know that this is the real irrefutable proof—you are exactly where you need to be on your writing path.
If you’re interested in learning more about my brilliant 83-year-old friend, his name is Fred J. Martin, Jr. and he’s an indie writer who authored a book on his idol, Abraham Lincoln. You can visit his website here. I bet you anything his About Page will blow your mind and inspire you to be your best self this week.