Wednesday, March 10, 2010

GETTING A LATE START?

I began writing in high school in a creative writing elective coarse. A spark ignited in me, but life quickly extinguished it when I married in the first year of college. After a divorce, remarriage, five children who grew into five teenagers (yikes!), our house burning down, and the near death of our youngest son and his health issues after that, who had time to write?

Then a dear friend, Lois Spoon, introduced me to the Northwest Arkansas Writers critique group. My writer spark reignited into a flame. I wrote and wrote until I finally found my voice. There was only one problem that I grappled with to the point that it held me back—regret.

I regretted all the time lost when I could have been writing. It seemed that every writer I met and every successful author I listened to at conferences exited the womb with a silver pen in their hand. They all wrote as little children. Who was I, an old woman of forty something, to think she could start writing and have any success or impact at all?

Now at the age of fifty four, I'll tell you who. I'm a woman with stories to tell, experiences to share, and hope to give. My second book, Connect! A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, will be available soon and I just sold my eleventh story to Chicken Soup for the Soul. I'm also enjoying another unexpected benefit, speaking to writers' groups and conferences.

If you are struggling with regret for starting late—don't! Just think of the past years as research, and get on with the business of writing!

You have stories begging to be told!

2 comments:

moonduster said...

Beautifully said. I put aside my writing to raise my children for a long time and then realized that I needed to keep writing; my children give me so much inspiration that it would be a shame to waste it by putting it off.

Suzanne said...

I started writing later in life too, Linda. I was 43 and seriously wondered if I was having an early mid-life crisis. But I followed God's promting, and He has been faithful to lead me each step of the way.