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 (facebook.com/RosettaDianeAuthor), my Contact Page on my website (https://www.RosettaWrites.net), or follow me on Twitter at @DianeHoessli.