Writing Tip #46

Better late than never. Today’s tip is inspired by the two-day blackout we experienced here on Long Island thanks to Hurricane Irene. As you know, my writing tips usually appear on Sundays, but since I had no internet access — and for the life of me cannot figure out the WordPress app on my smartphone — I had thought about skipping this week’s tip altogether and just waiting for Sunday to post a new one. But there’s nothing wrong with doing things late. I mean, hey, I went to grad school in my late thirties, sat in class with a bunch of twentysomethings who looked at me quizzically when I’d read essays I wrote about having kids and turning 40. But I didn’t care.

So many people I know who are my age or older have already packed it in. They’re ready to retire and coast the rest of their lives out, thinking it’s too late to follow their dreams. I just can’t wrap my brain around that, that whole “too old” or “too late” or “my time is over” thing. Probably because my mom, my first role model, has always been a go-getter. Tell my mom she can’t do something, and she’ll do it. Twice. Dixie Anderson, who writes the food column for Family magazine, one of the publications I edit, is in her eighties. And going strong. One of my friends, Linda Maria Frank, just penned two YA novels that she is aggressively marketing, crisscrossing Long Island to do educational programs, book signings, television shows. Linda is 70 years old. These are women for whom numbers are for math, not for living.

Yes, today’s tip was supposed to run on Sunday, but sometimes life throws a monkey wrench at us, screwing up our carefully laid out life plans and schedules. You gotta roll with the punches. Don’t throw in the towel. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, but didn’t have the time, do it. Now. And don’t let anyone — or anything, particularly a year on a birth certificate — stop you.

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7 thoughts on “Writing Tip #46

  1. Welcome back from the blackout! I work with older women and they have so much to offer us. I always say when looking for an answer go to someone who has lived through. What an inspiration they are.
    Don’t forget to stop by and look in my Contest folder!

  2. Good morning! Yes, better late then never is always good. I didn’t start college until I was 40 and have just started writing my first novel at the tender age of shhh 53 and am having the time of my life. I look forward to all your helpful tips. I just created my WP account yesterday, but haven’t designed my blog yet, but would love to have you check out my other blog at http://differentcornersinmylife.blogspot.com/2011/08/if-you-dont-ask.html
    Because I always seem to have a lot of questions.
    Have a beautiful day.
    Karen

  3. Dina,

    So awesome about Dixie!!! Wow, I had no idea. Loved this line: “These are women for whom numbers are for math, not for living.”

    Once again, you inspire us.

    And to Karen: We’re the same age. I’m working on my second novel. Good luck to you!

    Kathleen

  4. Indeed better late than never (and glad you got your power back on and that you’re safe & sound). Thanks for a great post! As one of the older ones in my blogging circle, I couldn’t agree more…I’m always worried that someone will judge me for having college+ age kids but still no book published…But honestly? I need to get rid of my own preconceived ideas and just do what I want to do! Anyway, I just read that 65 is the new 45 — whatever THAT means. :-)

  5. Dina, I truly love this! I know so many people who are living busy and satisfying lives while being anything but young. I’m not young myself, but am inspired by those who are even older. Two examples: My brother-in-law is 77 and has been volunteering overseas as an ESL instructor in a theological college for the past eight years. An aunt is 88 and is working on her first book, editing and illustrating a children’s bedtime story compilation. The funny thing is, this is her second endeavour — she’s been making hasti-notes from her paintings and selling them under the business name of… would you believe… “It’s Never Too Late!” Whenever I begin to despair of achieving certain goals within my remaining years, I think of them. :)

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