Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Twenties and Critiquing Inquiry

Twenties are especially scary because of the gravity of our choices.

The next person we're with, or the one we are with now, could be the one.
That career path we pick could be it.

There is less cushioning and space to fall back on. It isn't as simple as turning in a form to change your major or taking another route to class to avoid that ex. Then, of course, there is confusion thrown into that volatile mess.

Did I do the right thing? Why did I mess up? Will I be okay?

But then there is also that grace that can only come from being with yourself for so long. It includes knowing your reactions, thought patterns, and limits. It includes finding new ways to add to the world and helping others do the same. It includes stretching yourself in new and exciting directions.

My mother didn't have these luxuries. She had an arranged marriage at a young age and then moved to a foreign country with her husband. My father studied for his medical boards while working as a respiratory therapist. We lived in someone's basement for a few years before graduating to a tiny apartment. But where was their space for choices? My fear comes as a result of sacrifice.

They didn't even have the option of options. Because of how hard they worked, I am able to have this confusion.

And so it goes. Life is a give and take. And maybe it's scary but underneath that fear is a hidden layer of privilege.

On Another Note:


I'm in the market for someone to look at my first 10-50 pages (whatever is convenient for you) and will be happy to do the same.

I'm drowning in my manuscript and am too entangled in it to know if it's working or not!


  1. Twenties? Just wait until you hit the forties. Time's running out then.

  2. I just turned thirty. Looking back on my twenties, I definitely agree with this. Twenties are about having the freedom to figure out who you are and what you want out of life. I got married young, but it really didn't change that. We just figured out who we were and what we wanted together.

  3. And then there's the quarter-life crisis. Apparently it's a real psychological term now just like the mid-life crisis! But I must say I really am enjoying my twenties.

    If you haven't heard from anyone yet about being a critique partner, I'd be happy to be yours! I'm currently in the planning stages of a middle-grade novel right now so I don't have anything for you at the moment. You're writing women's fiction, right? I read every genre, so whatever genre it is, I'm familiar with it! I can't seem to find your email, so you can send me one at lauramstine (at) gmail (dot) com. :)

  4. I would love that, Laura! Thanks so much for the offer. I'll send you an e-mail soon. If there's anything I can look at for you, I would love to, whether it is now or later down the line.

  5. It's wonderful to have the opportunities you have now, even if it comes hand-in-hand with uncertainty. Your parents sound like wonderful people to give you the life you have now. Best of luck with your decision-making, but above all, just keep moving forward.

  6. Awe yeay! You got a crit partner! This place is handy for that ;)

  7. I can relate. I am deep in the midst of this right now.

    This was a great post, and congrats on finding a critique partner!

  8. Just wait 'till you hit your thirties, girl! ;-)

  9. Saumya...twenties is a time to enjoy the opportunities that God has given you, at the same time you should also think about the choices you are making, as they affect us in the long term. I have made few wrong ones, so this advice comes directly from the heart.

    Though I write Middle Grade fiction, I thought that I can volunteer to look at your first few pages. But I see that you already have a critique partner.

  10. every so often when we go out, i look at the young crowd, and i'm glad i'm not there anymore. but then again, every age has its challenges. that's just life. nicely put!

  11. Haha, I'm sure every age comes with its own benefits ;)

  12. Very nice Miss Saum! I must say...I am pretty notorious for abusing the choice to choose ;)

  13. I complete relate to the mixed emotions of options. Half of the time I just want someone to tell me what to do. Did you ever read Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were little? They allowed you to see the result of every decision before committing. I wish my life was like that! Haha, but then it wouldn't be a life at all.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I have to follow yours!

  14. I have to smile at these comments. I can relate to almost every age mentioned, since I'm 70 (as in seventy)!! Oh, the many years you have ahead of you. But I really wouldn't want to go back; I just want a younger body!! (lol)

    If you'd like an "older" perspective on your writer, I'd be glad to take a look.

  15. Just got out of my twenties so I can relate too!

    Will be happy to look at your first pages. I could use a fresh look at my pages too.

  16. These are my thoughts exactly! Just before Christmas I devoured a book about the quarter-life crisis. Even while I read I was aware that having too much choice was such a privileged, middle class issue to have- it doesn't stop you from being paralysed to make a choice in case it's the 'wrong' one though. Sometimes I've wished someone would just tell me what to do so I could get on with it! Although I guess I'm already trying to 'get on' with writing, if I could entice a story to come to me. Figuring out that in some form or another I'm going to have writing in my life is a kind of choice.
    - Sophia.

  17. Sophia, that's exactly how I feel: guilty for whining about privilege but still paralyzed, nonetheless. Knowing that you will write is a great choice. I'm sure you will make the best of it :)

  18. Even though I am in my 20's, I don't have the load of choices in front of me that I wish I did. What is worse, too many choices or almost none?

    I'm glad you found a critique partner, Saumya. Each time I try to get a poetry group together, it falls apart without me having glue handy.