28 Apr I published my first novel at 74 years old!
I started off writing seriously when I retired from teaching and academia. Never did I believe that I would be a first-time novelist in my seventies! I’d once thought life would be over by then. That’s nothing new, because I’d thought life would be over when I turned 21, then again at 30… And now my daughter, who sees me as her role model, is about to have her 40th birthday. Other writers who started writing late in life are Marcel Proust, Annie Proulx and Toni Morrison. But they all had a head start on me by beginning in their forties or fifties. In any case, it’s not all about numbers or dollar signs. Raymond Chandler began his career after losing his job as an oil engineer and was hugely successful, but he disliked much about the writing and publishing industry when he died quite young at 71. My role models for longevity were my mother Kathleen, who looked like a teenager and flower child well into her eighties, and my grandfather, who lived a healthy life until 93, when he tried to change the hands on the grandfather clock in his modern flat by standing up on a swivel chair! So, you don’t have to take on board everything from your role models. My daughter is now my digital mentor as she knows stuff I could never learn at this stage. No matter how intuitive one is, and writers have a reputation for being so, no one can predict the future accurately. All we can do is stay tuned in to the world and to those around us. Keep our eyes wide open and take notes about what is going on globally. The great thing about my current mentor is that she keeps me from taking myself too seriously and encourages me to enjoy the journey while it lasts.