You’re Never Too Old to Start Writing

Author James Dick is one of those writers who always wanted to write but put it off until retirement, never pursuing the effort actively until he had some real leisure time. But after taking a comprehensive year-long correspondence writing course as he neared his departure from the work force, he truly got the writer’s “bug”. And now having published his first fictional novel after a light book on animals and a compilation of faith blogs, he is finding topics he really loves to present. He draws from his experience in the military, government and business and his faith and love for nature. James also plans to write in the humor genre based upon his experience in raising horses with his equestrian loving wife. Stories abound from those experiences, not always funny at the time but hilarious when looking back. He writes his books and his blog from their rural home in beautiful North Florida.

Recently I was asked by a friend why I like to write. He said he was thinking about writing a story about some of his fondest memories and he wanted some pointers, saying that he thought he was too old, yet he is also about the same age as me.  After our chat, I realized that the subject of writing later in life was a perfect blog topic and I appreciate Serious Reading for giving me this platform. Too many people who are beginning to age feel they don’t have something to offer, when in reality they have experience which offers a world of great stories that many would like to experience.

Writing when you are older has some great advantages but it also has a potential stumbling block. But the positive far outweighs the negative so let’s start there. The experiences gained and the wisdom that comes with age is priceless. Adding the extra time in retirement provides the necessary ingredient to fully expound on those experiences. This combination makes a potent source of strong story lines.  All one has to do is ponder what it is they want to write about from their vast personal data base, think it through clearly and then take the time to record it on paper. Not only is it useful, but it provides something to provide a productive release which keeps the mind active and the soul fulfilled.

I found that with time on my hands, it was very easy to procrastinate and just dream of a project without going forward, so I established a website with a daily blog to force me to write every day.  I developed a schedule of writing my blog in the morning and it got my creative juices flowing and with that came the motivation to keep writing on bigger things. And along with some success in writing a few stories, articles and devotionals for publication, my appetite just kept growing and that’s what got me where I find myself today.  I might be getting older, but I am reminded of words of  my mother, who lived until ninety-one, which she said to me, “You’re only as old as you let yourself be.”

I am hooked on writing now and constantly try to hone my skills and tackle varying topics. With several books under my belt, including my recent fiction, I don’t know how successful any of them might turn out to be, and that brings me to the only stumbling block that I am still working to overcome. That is the marketing aspect, for the writing part is fun, but the marketing aspect is very demanding and much more complex than I ever dreamed.  And probably like most new writers, I didn’t plan accordingly as I was wrapped up in the excitement of telling the story, not what I would do with it when I was done.

In retirement, funding for marketing is certainly tighter than it would have been earlier in life. Had I started writing as a younger man with a good job, the money to handle professional marketing would be more plentiful, but then I would also have had to sacrifice time with family to make my mark. And as I have been through a number of trial and error marketing processes, I am every day getting better at separating the wheat from the chaff. I spend considerable time weekly searching for avenues to gain exposure by things such as this guest blog article and making personal contact with others as well as using social media.

Some avenues are good ones, others not so much, but I keep a record of what works and what doesn’t and just keep on trucking. And that’s what ultimately will determine the level of my success. Will I maintain the determination to keep driving until I get to the level where I want to be?  Well, as long as my mind is strong, and it currently is, and I keep believing in what I am doing, and I have a strong faith to prod me, I think things will end up at a level where I will feel satisfied, but still want more. Why? Because if you want to be the best you can be, but you have to keep driving and never settle for where you are.

And if you want to write, stop procrastinating and get started.  The more you write, the better you’ll get and when you look back later you’ll be very pleased that you did.

Again, I want to thank Serious Reading for the use of their platform. It is truly a site which lives up to what it says in supporting new writers.  As an independent who likes to try new things, but on a tight budget, the site is very valuable and I appreciate it.

 

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