This is a serious question. I’m actually asking.
Where are the writers that are my age and published in books? Or even magazines?! I subscribe to Writing Magazine and in the four months I’ve been receiving it I’m yet to see a winning story or poem from someone of my generation. It’s always 30 years+ and I’m just wondering why or at least how comes? Maybe people my age just don’t read the magazine and I’m just a bit overly nerdy for my age? I definitely feel as if the magazine is targeted for an older audience, it’s laid out like a typical woman’s mag (don’t pretend you don’t know what they look like!) all pretty pastels and stock photos. The winning, published stories are sugary dealings with divorce or trouble in the garden, which is slightly disheartening for someone who doesn’t really write in that style. I do genuinely enjoy some of the advice and it’s nice to stay up to date with the world of writing. Similarly, I attend a weekly adult education course wherein I’m the youngest one there and where my work often gets critiqued as ‘brave’ and ‘fearless’ in its subject matter. I sometimes find myself falling down a generation gap.
With these being the main writing influences and the guidance I have in my life I’m left wondering, where the hell are my generation? Where’s my representation?
In all fairness I do know where most of them are, you can find all the 20-somethings you want on sites such as Thought Catalog or Buzzfeed, writing airy articles about how to live every moment because one time some one they knew died or how we’re not actually the worse generation of all, we’re just getting a bad rap. Or they’re on Tumblr writing excellent pieces of fan fiction. Or just tapping away on their own personal blogs. I have to wonder if that’s all we’re destined for.
And! I have a vague idea why we’re on the fringes of the writing world – technology. We’re the ones who grew up on the internet, saturated in information and now armed with unlimited digital platforms in which to get our voices heard. We have TOO many ways to get our voices heard, it’s pretty overwhelming. Especially if you’re like me, slightly (read:very) bookish. I’m a big softy for the physicality of a book and not just in a Pinterest kinda way. Maybe that’s why I write better with pen & paper and insisted on a relic of a typewriter from Santa this year. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I’d like to see something in print
When I dream about being published, it isn’t online, it isn’t on an ebook, it’s something very physical, a book I can show my children and insist becomes a holy heirloom in the event of my death. The same magic just isn’t passed on with: ‘tell them to check my blog out….*last breath*’ But because digital space is pretty much free and accessible it becomes the go-to. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing at all (on my blog, which will get shared across multiple social networks…) and in all fairness at least it’s still writing in the purest sense. It’s just not my vision for myself as a writer.
Plus, I’d love to have someone of my age who’s really out there absolutely smashing it in literary circles, being given awards and recognition and free champers. Someone to aspire to in the field I’m in.
More serious questions!
Maybe people in their 20’s are just not successful in being published? Does becoming a writer require you to be at least 30?
I see many more 20 somethings make it in the film & television industry and it’s a bit of a head scratcher, is putting pen to paper to form a collection of poetry or complete a novel really such a ‘grown up’ and together’ thing to do? Harder than penning a series or a film?
I feel like it may be seen as a life experience issue – obviously because we’re too busy pretending to be students and getting into the groove of full time work as well as beer time to have anything truly important to write…right? RIGHT?
Well, not in my opinion! I have life experience falling out of my fucking pockets, I’m tripping over all the shit I’ve had to deal with. And you know what? Sometimes I just feel like writing about it. And I feel like it matters that I write about it, and one day I would very much like to see it in print. One day within the next 7 years if I’m honest.
Is it too much to ask to see a best selling, or at least popular, writer of my age? It may very well be my own stuck up graduate way of looking at the world, but I want to see literary 20 odds, I want to see poetic 20 odds, I want to see clever, thoughtful novels from 20 odds. I would very much like a literary voice of my generation, at least then I would know which direction to aim my own voice when it settles down.