My thoughts are based largely on my own experience. I am a Generation X'er. Here are a few traits that they attribute to my generation:
Individualistic: Generation X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy. Women were joining the workforce in large numbers, spawning an age of “latch-key” children. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours.
Value Work/Life Balance: Unlike previous generations, members of Generation X work to live rather than live to work.
It's like they climbed into my head and wrote those. See, I was that latch-key kid, my parents were divorced, and my mom worked full time. My younger sister and I thought nothing of taking care of ourselves after school every day.
So what does this have to do with writing? Well, for me, everything.
Having watched it first-hand growing up, I have no intention of working a 9-5 until I'm 70. I don't want to retire and then "start doing what I want to do." This, by the way, drives my mother insane. "What about stability? Life is work, work, work and then play. What are you going to do in ten years? Twenty?" Instead of instilling fear of the unknown into me, it only makes me shrug and answer, "Who knows what will happen between now and then."
I have seen people work themselves to the bone chasing a dangling carrot, only to die before they ever caught it. That lesson has hit very close to home more than once. I do not want that for myself, or my family. I want to live every day. I want to do the things I want to do, not when I'm too old to enjoy it, but right now! (Another quality of Gen X'ers is their need for instant gratification. heh)
So I write. This gives me the opportunity to satisfy the "something for me" drive that burns inside. I also write with the hope that one day in the near future, I can cut my hours back and have the best of both worlds, stability and freedom. I think for me personally, that would be a perfect world.
I know that as each generation comes of age, there are more and more old-timers who say that kids these days have no sense of "real" responsibility, and yes, that is true when you define it as working all your life, but the freedom of choice can often lead to great things. Outside the box thinkers and doers are what propel us forward. I encourage my own kids to question, to find their passion, and to follow their own dreams.
No one did that for me, and maybe it would not have taken until I was 35, and the loss of my dad, to find the courage to chase my own dream and write my first words.
So tell me: Do you chase your dreams full on? Do you think the generation you were born into effects the way you do?