I have heard stories — and even gotten to write a few stories — about remarkable children. Kids who have started their own companies, kids who design their own video games. One of my favorite books, “Eragon,” was written when the author was a teenager.
As a child, I wanted of the kids who got to be on the news for writing and publishing my own book.
I was not one of those kids.
I wrote stories as a child. I illustrated my own made up fairytales and tall tales. My parents helped me write them down, and illustrate them. They praised my work, but they also remained my only audience for years..
In Junior high, I wrote a story I thought was incredible. Many of my classmates agreed with me, and we were all excited for a week or so. It turns out that the story was not even remotely good. It is now locked away in a filing cabinet never again to see the light of day.
Still, following the story incident, I was itching to write a story, and publish it. I wanted to do it while I was still young too. I wanted to be considered a child prodigy.
I started, but never finished many, many stories between then and reaching adulthood.
Having now reached a point where I have to admit that I’ve left childhood far behind (at least in terms of age), I also have to admit I will never be a child prodigy.
That bothered me a little when I first reached adulthood. But I don’t mind anymore.
I’ve realized I don’t need to be a child prodigy to write a good book. I just need to work hard. And hire a good editor.
Goals, I’ve learned, don’t need to be tied to one’s age. JK Rowling was not a child when she published “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Susan Boyle was not a child when she wowed the judges on “Brittain’s Got Talent.”
A remarkable accomplishment is remarkable no matter when in one’s life, it is completed.
So maybe I can still write that book after all, someday.
But when it comes time to write, you can bet I’ll be leaving that old story from Junior High locked in my filing cabinet where it belongs.