Frank McCourt published his first book, “Angela’s Ashes”, when he was 66 years old. The following year he received The Pulitzer Prize and The National Book Critics Circle Award.
A few years ago I found myself wondering what I wanted to do with my life. Yes, I was nearing 50 and, similar to a woman in her 20’s who’d recently graduated from college, I wondered what the future held in store for me. I never thought I’d be at the same crossroads I visited thirty years ago. But there I was, holding my yearning in one hand and my self-doubt in the other.
What was a girl to do?
Depending on how you look at it, this time in your life can either be an exciting or an unhappy one. The power to feel the thrill and challenge awaiting you is within your control.
I was always envious of people who knew at an early age exactly what they wanted to do. I had floundered between jobs from publishing to real estate to healthcare, always trying to “find” myself. I managed my work life the way I thought I was supposed to, working nine-to-five jobs that, in the end, ended up being unfulfilling but earned a steady paycheck.
Was this all there was?
Julia Child launched her first cooking show at the age of 51. F. Murray Abraham received his first good role and won an Academy Award for his work in “Amadeus” at age 47.
Someone recently asked me, “What would your 20 year old self say to you about making yourself happy?” Surprisingly I didn’t miss a beat. The answer was already on the tip of my tongue. “Writing!”
There it was. I said it out loud. I suddenly felt a release of emotions I’d kept hidden for years. Why is it that we ignore that little voice that says exactly what we need to hear?
So I decided to rely on my ability to write, and chose to focus on issues that mattered to me most. Then I jumped full steam ahead and voraciously read everything I could get my hands on about how to create a blog, the use of social media in blogging, and how to reach a targeted audience.
A month or two later I was hired by a reputable health website to write articles and answer questions for my Multiple Sclerosis peers. Then I was hired by another website, and then another.
At age 65, Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken) took his money from his Social Security check and began to open franchises. Less than 10 years later he sold the franchise to a corporation for 2 million dollars.
I am sticking with my dream of writing – shaping it, molding it and making it my own. I am committed to doing it as my life’s work. It demands a deep respect for the written word, and a dedication and commitment to an audience.
I love every minute of it.
Writing has also been rewarding because it’s allowed me to meet others who are like-minded, generous of heart and ready to offer constructive criticism and high praise.
Rodney Dangerfield was a last-minute replacement on the The Ed Sullivan Show, and became the surprise hit of the show. He was 46 years old
I am a big fan of Don Miguel Ruiz who wrote in his book “The Four Agreements” about being “impeccable with your word”:
“Your word is the power that you have to create…
Through your word you express your creative power. It is through your word that you manifest everything…
What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word.”
What is your inner voice trying to tell you? Listen closely; it’s waiting to guide you. Open your heart and soul and listen to the truths of that voice. Follow your passions. You never know. Someday I may be writing about you!