Post-Career Old(er) Guy Finding His Way as a Full-Time (Publishable) Writer

To all old(er) seniors who have dreamt about becoming a writer, who find themselves saying about this or that recurring memory or current experience, “I really should write that down,” listen up!

I’m a retired professor gaining years like some folks seem to gain weight by merely eyeing a bowl of delectable steaming pasta, and one of the ways I’m staying alive is by writing and sometimes publishing stories for kids and ‘tweens’. If I can do it, you can too, but you’ve got to believe in yourself and conquer any of those internal voices that tell you, “You ain’t got no talent”.

Those other voices that would have you believe, “You’re either born with the writer’s special talents, or your not.” How do I know those voices demand attention? ‘Cause they haunt me—and as it turns out—many other writers I hear about, listen to, read about, meet. And what’s the remedy? Ah, simple: WRITE. Five, ten, fifteen minutes a day…twenty a week…thirty a month. Write about what? Name it. Your dog. Cat. First love of years ago. Your legacy. Your kids—both easy and difficult. Who cares if it ever is seen by anyone else, but wouldn’t it be grand if you eventually—inevitably—decided to become the vulnerable writer, going public…in a writer’s/reader’s group, in a blog (more about that later), with a friend.

Now, here’s what I’m finding: The more I write and look at each piece carefully and honestly, the more confident I am growing, and what my published stories tell me: I may be getting better. You write because you need to, have to, because you believe that the Word can help the writer in you see yourself and your life and others better, maybe even with more compassion. And if you pass the writing on to another, then you pass on the hope and means of having them see their lives better, with much more understanding. Know what I mean?


Today’s writing prompt: From one of your photo albums or a collection of photos, choose one that catches your eye. After you look at the photo for a few minutes, write for 5 to 10 minutes or more about the feelings and memories the photo brings up in you. Don’t censor. Just write.

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4 thoughts on “Post-Career Old(er) Guy Finding His Way as a Full-Time (Publishable) Writer

  1. Well, I hope you know that the respect is mutual. Being there at KSU to watch you soar professionally in a discipline that gave us all insight into a culture few of us knew how to navigate was truly inspirational, deeply transformative …

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