The content below the cut is PG-13
When I was doing a bit of research on Charlaine Harris, I was surprised to find her to be the age stated in the article I was reading. So, curious, I decided to look at some of the publication dates for her books. I was surprised to see she started writing later in life than expected. I could be wrong. I recently came across another person, a blogger, who had launched her writing career at a mature age as well. I’m not sensitive about my age. I actually embrace many of the aspects of aging. There seem to be more positives than negatives and many of the negatives are irrelevant to me because they encompass superficial values.
So, now I’m in my fifties, and more and more aware of the ravages of time as every day passes. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, there are changes which I attribute to encroaching fully blossomed maturity. One of the most noticeable of these physical changes is the subtle erosion of my self-confidence. You can understand why I have misgivings in pursuing my dream of becoming a writer now, even though I’m not ancient or anything.
This past year has been a whorl of learning and relearning. There are many writing-related muscles I’ve not flexed for many, many years. The muscle memory is coming back very slowly; at least, it’s coming back. In the case of Kimani Maruge I’m inspired by his pursuit of the most basic of education accomplishments. So I may spend the majority of my writing career learning to write but it’s the getting out and doing it that’s most important. Equally remarkable is the accomplishment of James Henry who after learning to read and write at 96 went on to publish his first book at 98.
It would seem it’s unnecessary for me to go on beating myself up over starting, finally, so late in life to get serious about writing. Frequently, I ponder on the wisdom of expending any energy in this area when I’m in the shorter end of my life expectancy. I like to think that my earlier achievements had to be reached first for me to be able to strive for this one successfully.
Olive Stephens, 94, of Shady Shores, Texas will not be returning to public life. It would seem she served on the town council for ten years and thirty-eight years as mayor. The brief article about this very active senior appeared in the April 2011 AARP Bulletin, in the, “Now Hear This: People, Trends and Ideas,” segment. She’s not retiring from public life entirely. Instead, she intends to continue to be involved in volunteer efforts.
I read Stephen King’s, On Writing, a number of months ago and was greatly entertained by some of his earliest exploits as a writer. He wrote a very entertaining circular while yet in primary school. Though his efforts were fun to read about, I also realized the desire to write can start early on in life. He even mentions a few disappointments and the hardships he endured when he was writing and supporting his family. But, he stuck to it. He didn’t let discouragements keep him down. The part of me that insist I’ve erred in thinking I can write didn’t miss this very valuable nibble of inspiration.
My father, on his death-bed, counseled me to take every opportunity that comes my way. My parents always encouraged me to engage myself in activities and pursuits I enjoyed. Though, I grow bored easily with things, I find two endeavors which have not become a source of ennui, pottery and writing. Both provide a means of stress relief. Working in a call center is very demanding. Pottery, because my active mind is narrowly focused, allows my subconscious mind to gather wool and work through thoughts and concepts that are high on my problem solving list, including those issues which arise which are directly related to writing and pottery work. An outlet for my writing drive presented itself to me a little over a year ago and opened a whole new world of possibility.
I know there’s no reason for me to not learn the craft of writing and to pursue it as a serious venture. There’s no reason for me to take to a rocking chair and get out my knitting needles, unless I happen feel like knitting. No one knows how long they have on earth or even how long they have remaining in life. To not pursue my dreams and aspirations, when I’ve given them validity and solidity in my life, because I might not have many years left is not unlike the person who decides not to take a stroll on a beautiful day because there are only a few hours left of daylight. Take advantage of what remains and enjoy its beauty, inspiration, and fulfillment and leave the rest to those who are able to enjoy another fine day.
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