by Shelt Garner
The thing about being 50 and having the life I have at the moment is even if I manage to pull off any sort of success, it’s just not going to be the “normal” type of success. I’ve wasted way, way, way too much my life grieving over the failure of ROKon Magazine to the point that, lulz, any success I have is going to be surreal.
In other words, as I’ve often said, if I get what I want, I don’t get what I want. Even if I manage to somehow sell my first novel and I blow up with my DJ (novel) money, it’s not like I can just cruise into having the type of life I feel I deserve as a “success.”
The transition from drunk crank loser to “unique” successful old person will be surreal and jarring to the absurd degree. That’s probably one of the abstract things about getting older that people don’t tell you as a young person. Not all ages of your life are the same.
If I manage to write a break out hit novel, I’ll — at best — be in my mid-50s, a time when all my peers will be empty nesters and have one eye on retirement. This engenders no end of angst on my part.
I can’t change how old I am. I can’t change my personal history. Those things are so set in stone and immutable that I really — REALLY — need to manage my expectations. I could literally write a novel as popular as The Girl With Dragon Tattoo and I would still be, in the eyes of the elite, just a drunk bonkers crank.
It’s all very alarming and disconcerting. There’s just nothing I can do at this point to right my life so I have some semblance of a “normal” life. No matter what happens, I’m going to be weird at this point. If I just drift off into nothingness, then I’ve had a rather weird, uneventful life. But if I actually managing to make any sort of success of what time I have left on earth, all anyone will want to talk about is how I’m a success “later in life.”