Too Old to Write? Proof the Answer is “NO!”

Today I am sharing blogging space with Madeline Sharples on her blog. It is my hope that you’ll follow me over to Madeline’s to talk about when a person becomes too old to write. I think you already know my answer!

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Lately I’ve been asked by friends and family what I’m doing with my time in retirement. Since I left my position with a local law firm in 2006, I’ve spent a lot of time with expensive surgeons who have corrected my eyesight and repaired a lot of bones. I discount those months as paid medical leave (paid by me and my retirement fund) and explain that I’m at last fulfilling a lifelong dream of writing.

The responses I have received are jarring, startling and some even painful:

  • Aren’t you too old to be writing a book?  (Excuse me?)
  • At this stage in your life, do you really want to deal with the burden of writing and then publishing a book? (I really love it!)
  • What if no one wants to publish a book by a retired legal secretary? (I beg your pardon?)
  • What do you have to write about? (Stories – lots of stories.)

And the list goes on.  I try to smile and make polite comments. However, I didn’t realize there was an age limit on when a person could write a book.

At a workshop I attended last winter, one of the workshop coordinators took a moment to announce a regular attendee was no longer with us. (Read the remainder of the post here . . .)

Benefits of Writing Your Story

Today I am honored to be a guest at Madeline Sharples’ blog, Choices.  I hope you’ll join me as I visit with Madeline and share my thoughts on the many and varied benefits of writing your story.

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In 2001, when my mother died, the story of our lives together had traversed many years and battled many storms.  Yet at the end, something unusual and unexpected happened.  I tucked that memory away knowing it was possibly the core for a memoir.  When I retired in 2006, I remembered how often I had said, “When I have time, I want to write a book.”

Little did I know when I began accumulating my memories on the computer and sorting through family photos the benefit writing this story would give.  Never had it occurred to me that writing could be a restorative, healing process.

With each word typed, I felt changes taking place.  The invisible scars created by years of verbal and emotional abuse seemed to loosen.  Old hurts seemed to soften despite the painful process of remembering.

I am not here to tell you that writing memoir is easy.  It isn’t.  Writing your own story may dredge up painful memories.  Alternatively, writing your story will likely be cathartic.

(Please come with me to Madeline’s blog and read the rest.)