My Name in Print...
I've been asked many times, "What's it like to be a writer?" This is the very same question I had before I decided to find out for myself. My expectations far exceeded the reality. The reality is that you dedicate long very long hours to research and write until the wee hours of the morning in your pajamas, surrounded my coffee cups and energy bar wrappers while the laundry stacks up. Is it worth it?
Yes. It. Is.
"Age is an extraordinary process where you become what you always should have been."
This sketch was created for me by a local artist, Judy Moffett, during the time I had high hopes of being a writer. Because life in your 20s and 30s is a series of paying bills, raising kids, working and merely trying to survive, I — like most of you, I would venture to guess — placed on the back burner what I wanted to do in favor of what needed to do. (And no, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.)
Perhaps the best thing about getting past those trying years is that we, the baby boomers, are at a point in our lives where we do have the opportunity to follow our dreams— even in the face of a few gray hairs and the annoying gravitational pull of miscellaneous body parts. It’s now or never!
I decided to use these years to dust off my dreams and pen my way to interested readers, beginning with magazine articles and working my way up to a book,
The decision forced me to face my fears; to tell my insecurities to “Sit down and shut up!” and to insist that doubt take a permanent hike. In return, I was blessed with opportunities that I would have never had, had I not followed my heart’s desire.
I’ve met incredible people, from some of the top names in the entertainment business to everyday heroes and memorable folks who have carved out their places in history. I’ve taken a flight in a B-25J Mitchell WWII bomber, covered the Cohen Brothers remake of “True Grit” and interviewed the daughters of music legends Hank Williams and Willie Nelson to pick their brains about what their famous dads were really like when the tours are over and the lights go out.
I'd, of course, be lying to say I haven't had my share of Dorothy Parker days.
“If you have any young friends who aspire to
become writers, the second-greatest favor you
can do them is to present them with copies of
‘The Elements of Style.’
The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot
them now, while they’re happy.”
Still, it's been worth every moment.
The point is, if I can reinvent myself at the age of 50 and make the “impossible” possible, then so can you! Give whatever dream has gone unfulfilled up to this point your best shot! Prepare for the naysayers, the critics, the negative. Just keep going.
I never joined the Peace Corps. I never lived in New York City. And while those dreams went unrealized, I did the one thing I wanted most of all. Even though it’s taken me years to say the words, I can now say that I accomplished the one thing that stands above the rest.
Finally, I became a writer.