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Grandma Moses began painting from memory in her 70’s. Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40, and didn’t become a television star until she was 50. Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken didn’t begin building his empire until he was 66.
Clearly, these people had two things in common: They had a dream, and they reached it because they didn’t let their age keep them from learning.
That’s where I am right now. I’ve been around the world in a tire tube, as my dad used to say, and I’ve learned a few things. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that the day you stop learning – or believe you’re too old to learn anything new – is the day you die. Maybe not physically, but spiritually, emotionally, intellectually…you are already dead.
My dream, from the time I was 26 years old, was to contribute to my family financially by doing what I loved most: I wanted to write. I needed to write. But it couldn’t be a hobby. It had to be a job. And I was blessed to be able to do that. But my real dream was to have a novel published – not a book that I ghostwrote or collaborated with others on, but my own novel. I wanted to have that experience. I wanted to know how it felt. Yet as time passed and life kept happening, the dream dimmed and I began to fear that I had grown too old.
Fortunately, the dream remained. I kept trying. I kept pushing forward. My family supported me, my husband believed in me, and I learned as much as I could about how this business of writing had changed over the years. Then, one month before my 71st birthday, my novel Whispers Through Time, a story I had carried in my heart for nearly 20 years, was accepted for publication. One month before my 71st birthday, I finally knew what it felt like to reach a goal I’d had for nearly half a century.
Just writing that line brings it home to me, and I’m filled with pure happiness. But there’s no time for self-congratulation because now…now I have to learn something new.
It’s called Marketing. It’s called Technology. It’s called Social Media. It’s called Oh, my gosh, I’ll never learn this! Fortunately, an incredible number of people – total strangers whom I’ll probably never have the pleasure of meeting – have been so generous with their time and expertise that it’s finally beginning to make a little sense to me. Do I like it? Not particularly. But I think I’ll learn to.
And then, once I have it down pat, I’ll start another book. Grandma Moses is my new role model. Look what she accomplished!
Touch base with me on my Facebook Author Page (, my Contact Page on my website (, or follow me on Twitter at @DianeHoessli.