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The Writer’s Well Episode 188: What are you going to say to your “future me?”

It’s time to future trip in this week’s episode of The Writer’s Well. J. asks Rachael what she plans on saying to her future self. – 

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37 thoughts on “The Writer’s Well Episode 188: What are you going to say to your “future me?””

  1. Morning J and Rachael. Fun question today.
    Today I am a content and laid back person who can take knocks so I am not sure I need to say anything to the future me as I hope to remain as I am for many more years.
    If forced, I would send myself a future email saying something like “If you haven’t got a bestselling book yet (100,000 copies sold) get the bloody work done because these things aren’t luck, and if you have got a bestselling book, well done; see what you can achieve when you apply yourself.”
    Oh did I mention I also have a touch of arrogance?
    Great show.

  2. Hi,
    fun question as usual.
    I like the 10 years email idea.
    I would send some photos of my newly created forest garden and say remember how this looked when you started and just look what happens when you are patient.
    I would send myself list of books written and how many I have old to date and say- see I told you to have faith in yourself, just see how far you have come.
    I’d mention the situation the world is in and all the ways I hope people will change their way of living to support nature more.
    I’d mention how much I love my life now I have given up worrying.
    There is probably more, but that’s all I can think of now.
    I’m going to find that site and write my email soon.

  3. This question threw me. 10 years ago I had never written any fiction outside of the rare English class assignment in High School, I was super poor with 4 kids and rent I couldn’t afford, and I believed my entire life would be devoted to working in churches and nonprofits. And 10 years before that, I was a completely different person. I was planning to go to med-school, wasn’t married, and had 0 children. I have no conception of what life will look like in 10 years. I wouldn’t even know where to start that letter. =)


    I really enjoyed this episode. I have done this off and on since I was a teenager. The last time I did this, my husband and step-son did it with me. My Step-son had just moved in with us for a summer. We did them for a year out. I know my husband and I enjoyed the experience of reading our letters. We mailed our son’s letter to him, so I don’t know what he thought.
    Anyways, I always put where I am at the time of writing, and so when I read it letter, it is easier for me to look back and remember and I can see how I’ve grown and changed over the time. It’s one of the reasons I keep a journal too.

  5. Fun question! As an aside, my sixth-grade class did a time capsule where we each put something in it and then the class buried it in the school playground. This was 1980. Unfortunately, no one remembers where we buried it!

    I’d tell my future self, “Congratulations on becoming a published writer.” And, “I’m proud of you for overcoming your fears and limitations to accomplish your dream.”

  6. Fascinating episode! I once wrote a trilogy about friends who’d written letters to their future selves and when they received them 10 years later, had to reassess what they’d done with their lives to that point. BUT can you believe I still wasn’t inspired to do it for myself? It sounds a little scary, actually. I think, though, I’d ask myself (like my characters did) if I’d made any compromises or mistakes that I could undo or redo. I like the idea of a future “gut check.”

  7. J this intrigued me so I searched the google how-to and you can do this in any gmail account – the send button has a down arrow that if you click, it lets you schedule as far into the future as you like. It does take some of the magic away though if you can look at it in your sent folder at any time 🙂

    You also sent me WAY back. In Junior High we had to sell magazines and if you hit a certain amount you got to go into a classroom that had boxes of LP’s and I picked the Meatballs Soundtrack which had all the little Bill Murray clips on it – I wore that thing out.

    For the question – not sure if I would want a pep talk or nostalgia in 10 years. Maybe…

    Give the kiddos (and maybe grandchildren?) a hug for me – they have weathered so many storms on our little boat and right now is a frickin hurricane.

    If you are still alone, I hope you are not lonely. Don’t forget you can create characters to brighten your life at any time. Not having a partner does not mean you are unworthy of one, only that the things you are meant to do with your life are better served keeping your own company (and that’s okay).

    I can attest that up until 2020 you worked hard, tried to be kind and did the best you could with what you knew and what you had – so I am confident that is also true for your last 10 years no matter what your current situation looks like.

    Be brave, love hard, and remember to play. M

  8. Great wisdom often comes from great comedy. Thanks J. for bringing up the hilarious blast-from-the-past: “It just doesn’t matter!”
    I’m 59 and have learned that no matter how good I get something, someone is always better, and nobody is impressed by my precious words or attempts at competitive athleticism. I laughed my ass off when I read “Nobody Want to Read Your Shit” by Steven Pressfield because I had learned that hard reality on my first day as a journalist.
    Although harsh, these concepts should should not discourage writers. They are actually extremely freeing. There is utter joy in following a passion “just because,” and that can lead to better work.
    So, I would email my future self just one simple question: “Have you gotten over yourself yet?”

  9. I would tell future-me, “It’s okay. You just didn’t know any better yet.”

    I have a tendency to look back at past mistakes and ask myself “How could I have been so dumb?” But of course, I wasn’t dumb. I just hadn’t learned that particular lesson yet.

    I just started writing my second novel. I have a feeling that one day in the future I will look back at what I am doing right now and think, “What were you doing? How could you be so dumb? That’s not how you write a book! ”

    I’m not dumb, I’m just learning.

    I might also tell myself not to be such a bitch to past-me.

  10. Wow. This is the toughest question yet. As of this moment I have no idea how I should answer it. What could I possibly say that would survive the intervening time?

    You got where you are now because you didn’t give in and always did your best to go forward regardless of the obstacles encountered along the way.

  11. There are some great ideas here for a single important message you’d want to send your future self, but it would also be fun to use such a delayed-delivery function to send yourself daily emails that would remind you of the less grand but still interesting things one was doing a year ago, and that would form the basis of a daily journal. Thanks again for another great discussion!

  12. J nicely done at the 2 hour running mark. I wish I could get back up to my 10k endurance. I am firmly in the 5k endurance area at this point. It is nice though. Everything doesn’t hurt.
    Rachel, I am envious of the morning swims. I used to do that when I was doing little triathlons with a triathlon fun team. I haven’t gotten in the water for laps in a long time.
    What would I say to my future self?
    1) I hope you have figured out how to balance work and life.
    2) I hope you are more connected to your family then you are now.
    3) I hope that you have written in your journal so you can see how this process has progressed
    4) I hope that you have written enough books that people like enough to make it profitable
    5) I hope you bought extra insurance since your oldest daughter is driving now.

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