The movie 17 Again has people questioning what they would do if they could go back to some point in their lives and do things over.
When I was in high school, I remember teachers saying, "You're going to want to come back here. This is the best time of your life." Then in college, the same sentiments were replayed. Then I watched television shows where characters in their 30s miss their 20s, characters in their 40s miss their 30s, and so on.
Admidst all of this, I worked a summer job with a woman in her 60s. She was chatty, and I remember her saying she wouldn't go back to any one point in her life. She loved every age, and she's enjoying where she is now.
I was so impressed with her optimism, and the decision seemed logical. If you're in your 20s missing college and high school, you're not really enjoying your 20s.
In regards to my life, I follow her sentiments. I enjoyed high school while I was there, but I'm not interested in going back. College was great, but the same applies. Instead, I want to enjoy where I am now, which means enjoying finishing my first book, writing my second and hoping they get published.
Friends and family ask about the publishing process, and I tell them this is the hardest part (although as I learn more about publishing, I'm not sure I still agree with this). My primary goal is getting an agent to take a chance on me. Then that agent has to get a publisher to take a chance on me. I'm a nobody. All I can hope is that I've written something good enough to encourage an agent and publisher to jump aboard.
It's stressful and scary, and to be honest, I kind of love it. Compare me to my ghost-hunting character who doesn't mind feeling chills up and down her arms alerting her a spirit is near her, but I'm really enjoying the fear of whether an agent will like my work.
Maybe "enjoying" is a strong word, but this is all part of the process, a big part, actually. It's exciting and scary, and I do want it to be over soon. I'm hoping the first response from the first agent is an enthusiastic "YES!!!" (If you're struck by this optimism, note I'm not delusional. Read this and this).
I'd love to get to the next step of sending the book out to publishers, but I'll enjoy (and stress about) that part when I get there. For now, I suppose I'm in the teenage years of publishing. I have to prove myself and sway an "adult" in the industry to trust me and take a chance on me.
While it's not easy, I've been talking with other writers who are on their second and third and ninth books, and they have stress, too. This job of writing will never get easy, but I'll enjoy every age.