I’ve been writing since I was a young teen. It’s hard to believe I’m about to hit my mid-50’s, and have just published my first book through a traditional publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I have a ton of fellow authors that I follow or interact with through my publisher. And one thing seems to stick out – we are all old.
Now, don’t get all offended. When I was in my 20’s, I could never imagine myself in my 50’s. I’m sure that’s true for a lot of us. We never think we’re going to get old in the first place. Anyone older than us is “old.” Right now, I don’t like to think of myself as old, because there are people older than me. Heck, one of the authors I interact with frequently is 84 years old. She just published her first book!
Goes to show you it’s never too late, right?
Almost fifteen years ago, I discovered National Novel Writing Month, a rather nifty way to approach writing a novel. For the month of November, 30 days, you are supposed to begin and complete writing a 50,000 word novel. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? It is, but it’s also an inspired way to write. The deadline is set for you, there is plenty of support through forums, pep-talk emails, and group write-ins at local coffee shops. That first year, I started late (9th of November) and still wrote a 96,000-word completed novel by November 30th. I didn’t know I had it in me! Since then, I’ve written every year for NaNoWriMo, and “won” every time.
The last two years, I’ve volunteered as a “Municipal Liaison” for the Boulder County, Colorado, region. This means I send out pep talks to aspiring “Wrimos” as we call ourselves, and plan local writing events. We have a kick off party and a wrap-up party, and a half-way-there party. One thing I’ve noticed about the Wrimos – they are predominately young. High school, college age, up until they get married and have kids, they are doing this Wrimo thing. There are few over-50’s at our events, and just a smattering of over-40’s. Maybe a few in their 30’s. Of course, I am proud of the young ‘uns for taking on the challenge. Their enthusiasm makes up for a lack of life experience. But I am surprised there are not that many writers at my age level in NaNoWriMo. Yes, we all have different responsibilities, including maybe families to raise, full time jobs to maintain, and other social activities that have nothing to do with writing. That balance in having enough time to write and still live the kind of life we need to live can be difficult, even impossible.
I feel like I wasted so much of my life before I really took writing seriously. And I wonder if it is the same for other writers of my age bracket and older. Were we waiting for our kids to be grown and gone (I still have one at home who is just now in middle school)? Were we waiting until financial security had set in, so we could afford to take the time to write? What kept us from writing when we were young? I was writing, of course, but not really doing anything with that writing. For whatever reason, I didn’t start taking the idea of working hard toward getting published until I was 50. I do regret that I didn’t start sooner.
But then, being a mature writer means I have some experience to write with. Yes, I’m writing about much younger women than myself. But I also know that the most voracious readers of romance novels are over 40. I still read romance novels. Romance novels sell, and sell well. I shouldn’t be surprised that the writers are “old” like me.
In fact, I’d have to say “we rock!”
Fairest of the Faire – available now!
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
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