I turned 70 a few weeks ago, and am thinking I may be getting past middle age. I used to tease my mother that as long as she refused to think of herself old, we couldn't go there ourselves. She passed away a few years ago, at 94, so the field is now open. Luckily I neither act nor look my age, so it's not as if family or friends are pushing me to grow up.
Nevertheless, I do find myself thinking about what I've done so far, and what I have left to do. I've raised two great kids, fallen in (and out) of love a few times, seen some of the world, fallen out of a white-water raft,followed several interesting careers, made some good friends, learned tons of neat things, dabbled a lot in photography and in trombone, championed several causes, and hopefully impacted some lives in a positive manner.
But I still have an ever growing to-do list, a list that seems to get whittled down less and less. I've always been a procrastinator, and had trouble focusing on something for very long before being distracted by sparkly things. But it's worsened in the last year. I suppose it's a balance with things I don't really have to be doing, things I should be doing, and things I want to be doing. A balance that's difficult to find when distracted by late night video games and lazy mornings.
My to-do list includes publishing novel #2, then editing and publishing #4-6. Morph some of my existing flash fiction into short stories - and publish them. Write more novels and short stories. Play - and improve at - video games, such as Wargame: Red Dragon, Eurotruck Simulator and No Man's Sky. My son plays some of those too,so it's also a bonding thing. Speaking of which - spend more time with my daughter and her growing family. She's quite busy, so I just need to find a window. Also, get more exercise. And clean my place up. And sort through all those boxes of photos. And get more exercise. And do all that without feeling I 'have' to do it, or guilty if I skip/delay some of it.
So let's think about that label, 'artist'. Writers are artists, like painters, musicians, dancers, singers, sculptors. We use our imaginations and skills in the craft to create something from nothing, something to hopefully entertain, maybe even to move people. And that's kind of cool, and a reward in its own right. Yes, bags of gold are nice, but knowing you've created something good, and, even better, having other's think it's good too?
That makes it all worthwhile.
- Editing - some. Not enough, as I do have that excellent feedback and I do want/need to get this published.
- Writing - nope.
- Gaming - Yes. My son and I finally played more Wargame online, in some teams. We did badly, but had fun. Our next attraction is one called No Man's Sky. It's a procedurally generated universe, with 14 quadrillion planets or so, each with different flora and fauna and environments. There are a variety of challenge paths to follow, but it's basically a single player exploration game.
- Videos, etc I watched a lot of Twitch streams of people playing the above game, as well as Netflix (Touch, Don't Trust the B*tch in Apt 23) and the Rio Olympics.
- Other - Coffee and the NYT or Globe on the back porch, the occasional stroll over to the pub, visits with grand-kids, wandering the 'hood on errands - lots of non-writing.