Monday, October 11, 2010

A TIME TO HARVEST




“For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of the harvest.” ~ The Talmud

I started writing around the age of 48. In my naïveté I didn’t think my late start mattered. That is until my first writing convention. The speakers were all ages, but the one thing they had in common was that they were born with a silver pen in their hand. Every one of them said they started writing as children. The message I heard was “all you middle-aged women, just lay down your pen and go home.”

It seemed that editors and agents only wanted experienced writers and didn’t have time to fool with novices. One speaker actually said if we wanted to write, then write letters! Needless to say, I left with my writing spark snuffed. A tiny stream of smoke curled up from my extinguished flame of creativity.

I kept writing, but the “what’s the use” cloud hovered over me like the one over the Peanut’s character, Pigpen. However, that changed when I attended a writing workshop. The speaker asked us to write about an influential person in our lives. I wrote about my mom. She married when she was in 8th grade. Then at the age of 45 she earned her GED and achieved her LPN license at 48. She didn’t let the circumstances in her life make her a victim.

After writing about her, it hit me, I was turning myself into a victim! No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. So what was I doing with my “todays?”
I came to realize that all my life I had been gathering experiences, stories, life-lessons. Then at 48, it was time for me to “harvest” and share my gleanings.

Do you feel it is too late for you? Maybe you want to go back to school. Do it! You want to start a second career or a new one? Do it! You want to follow your dream? Do it! Don’t let your age or how long it may take stop you. My mother went back to school, and it took a little over 3 years. She could have said, “Well, I don’t know, I won’t graduate until I’m 48.” But think about it, she turned 48 anyway—with a degree.

I don’t care if you are 70+. Go back to school, write that novel, start that career, create, love, reach out. It is never too late. Share your life’s harvest with us. By doing this, you are planting seeds for future generations! 

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