No, you didn't miss my birthday this year (That was in December, so if you really want to feel guilty about missing my birthday, get it right). I've just been thinking about how great it is to get older. Know why? I've (almost) stopped caring what people think!
It's a much better way to live. I can go to the store with baby snot all over my shirt, and I don't even care if anyone sees. I can sing my favorite song to myself while I'm buying groceries, and if people give me funny looks, I can pretend I'm singing to the baby.
This isn't something I've been consciously working on all these years. It's just magic. Poof-poof! Self-consciousness gone! Hurray!
And, as a writer, guess what? I'll need those extra years to prepare for the inevitable ugly publishing industry comments. I won't have to worry about whether or not they're right, because I won't care. You don't want to publish my stuff because you think my writing lacks substance? Evil book reviewer, you hated my book because you thought it was boring/evil/inappropriate/uglier than the wart on your big toe?
I honestly haven't heard much negative criticism yet since I haven't put much stuff out there to date. But I'm glad for these pre-publication years. It gives me a chance to build up a skin thick enough to bounce all those people with the wrong opinion right into the atmosphere. Bounce, there flies another one. I guess there will be a lot of agents and editors hanging out in the sky, wondering what they're doing bouncing around up there.