Things I Wish I’d Known: The Future
By J.S. Watts
With Mark Meier’s indulgence and support, I’m writing a blog post series called “Things I Wish I’d Known.” This is the third post in the series and today I’m wishing I’d had an accurate crystal ball when I first started writing seriously. Let me explain.
When my words first began to be published, the thing I craved most was to publish a book. Just one: I wasn’t greedy. Life and non-writing work, however, got in the way and it was many years before my first poetry collection was published. In the meantime I craved – oh how I craved.
Now, with six books and pamphlets published, including two well-received novels, and with a third and fourth novel very slowly on their way towards publication, I wish I could tell the me of years gone by not to fret and that, yes, eventually I would be a published writer with more than one book to my name. I spent so many years dissatisfied with myself and nursing that craving for book publication that I wish I had known it would all come good in the end.
These days my sense of lack (have I mentioned that I am rarely satisfied?) is focused on the fact that I only ever seem to get short-listed for prestigious literary competitions and never win one (or even get placed). So perhaps I should be wishing for future-me to be able to pop back to now to tell current-me that everything’s okay, that glittering prizes will be won, best-selling novels published and critically acclaimed poetry collections with my name on them championed in literary circles. But what if they are not? What if future-me can only say that this is as good as it gets and that it’s downhill and backwards from here on in? Maybe, after all, it’s best that I don’t know the future...
Next month, the surprisingly non-sedentary nature of writing features on my wish-I’d-known list.