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.