Though I have written one thing or another for most of life from grade school puppet shows to college poetry and my first novel hand-written way back in the 1980's (I found it recently when looking for some old short stories), I did not get published until, let's face it, I was old. I would have liked this experience sooner. Wouldn't everyone? But working full time, three kids, a husband and house to take care of did not allow it. I have, however, discovered that I did not waste all those non-writing years. Instead, I stored up characters, incidents, and emotions over a long period of time and placed them in my mental attic so to speak.
When I need an incident for a story or want to imagine what a character is feeling, I root through that attic and recall the joy of first love, the thrill of sex, the anguish of divorce. Things that happened to my family now spill out on the pages. For instance in one of my yet unpublished books, I related a Little League game. My son was not the best hitter, but he could take one for the team. He often got hit by the ball, one time so hard the stitching on the ball cover showed on his backside. He took a base, and being pretty good runner who always knew where the ball was (his strength), eventually rounded the bases for a score. Need a Little League scene. Out it comes from the mothballs of my mind but without the overpowering scent. My grandmother used mothballs. I know of what I speak. One day, that book might be printed. I will dedicate it to my son, probably to his embarrassment. Thanks for the memories, kiddo.
So to those of you who think you are spinning your wheels, wasting your talent, think you will never see your words in a book, I say, "No, you are just storing up information that will become your future novels." And good luck to you.