I know. Every case is unique. But in my case, becoming a writer in midlife has given me a new sense of meaning and purpose. I no longer sit and wonder why I’m here, I finally know!
At age 49, I lost my career as an academic librarian. One day it was simply gone. I spent a few months contemplating what’s next, couldn’t come up with anything feasible, so I hired a career coach. She was good. She spent months convincing me gradually (kicking and screaming!) that writing was the only thing I ever really wanted to do.
So, where to begin. At first I thought it was all about proving myself. I started pitching freelance stories to just about anyone, and realizing this was going to take a while. Especially at a time when so many magazines were going out of business.
Then one lucky day I ran into a well-known blogger who convinced me that a blog was worth a shot. That was the day in 2007, when the ‘Midlife Crisis Queen’ was born. I decided I would need to crown myself. Certainly nobody else cared.
These days, blogging is the only way to establish yourself as a writer, unless you have some fantastic connections. I had none, but I found I did slowly gather a following by telling it like it is for those lost in midlife ennui.
Within a year I was confident enough to write my first book, and five years latter I have three books published and two e-workbooks, all about surviving what turns out to be a unique, new, and psychologically genuine rite of passage called ‘midlife.’
I know now exactly how normal my own midlife passage has been. What could be more common than the desire to have something to show for your life? How many baby boomers are struggling right now with this issue, and coming up short?
Becoming a writer was my own personal solution. This process has given me new purpose. Everyday I wake up ready to see what’s next, to learn more about this new adventure called midlife. Life is exciting in a way I could not have imagined in my 30s and 40s!
So please allow me to share a little bit of midlife wisdom here:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
This piece just got picked up by the Huff Post this morning!