”What would you tell your younger self? Ah, the time machine question.
I was recently challenged to write about what I would tell my younger self. Obviously: “Keep writing!”
I wrote as a young girl. When did that stop? Probably when my mother read my biographical journal and made fun of it. So younger self:
DO NOT STOP WRITING BECAUSE SOMEONE DID NOT APPRECIATE WHAT YOU WROTE
I was so excited to take journalism in high school. I learned Who, What, Why for the first paragraph. I learned a little about typesetting. (How quaint) but I did not stay with it. Why? The teacher did no like some mannerism and suggested journalism was not for me. So younger self:
DON’T LET SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION STOP YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
Marriage, teaching, motherhood, divorce, mid life. When did I stop writing? Why? Then at last — law school. Law school is all about writing. Difficult, challenging, REAL writing. I even wrote a law review article. Great practice even if it was not published. Actually it was quite prescient and I took a stand. As I recall, it was something about what defines “close relationship” and could that include an unmarried partner. Not bad for 1995, is it? So, younger self:
TAKE A STAND AND WRITE ABOUT IT
Passed the bar, opened a law practice. Passed another bar, opened another law practice in a different state. Even though bar exams involved a lot of writing, it is not the creative writing I craved. That budding writer was still dormant.
One day as I was building my new business, I received a sales call from a local newspaper. You know — the one you would get at the bank or the car wash? They offered me the opportunity to write a column – an advertorial I learned. I jumped at the chance. That column jump started my writing. I wrote a monthly column. I got a lot of business. People came into my office with the column in hand. But also, I was getting great feedback about my writing.
After a few years that newspaper folded —literally. By then everyone had websites and my columns easily transferred to a blog on my website. That lead to joining a reticent bloggers group which was the start of many writing classes, retreats and ongoing groups. I officially considered myself a writer. I even published a book. Younger self: Why did you have to be 60 before you started writing?
YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO BEGIN AGAIN
I continued the blogs relevant to my business and at 70 I started this blog — Not Your Grandmother’s 70. Actually I started it a few months before as I wrote about my grand adventure through the Grand Canyon. Here it is seven years later. I am still writing and I have committed to writing another book. I invite you to take the journey with me. And the note to younger self is the tag line of this blog, later book:
YOU CAN REINVENT YOUR LIFE AT ANY AGE
I am told blogs must have pictures. So I will add some photos of said younger self.
Now it is your turn:
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?