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Friday, June 03, 2011


Friday Speak Out!: Why Did I Wait?, Guest Post by Nancy Julien Kopp

Why Did I Wait?

by Nancy Julien Kopp

I always wanted to write, but I allowed Life to get in the way of my strong desire. First came college where time for extra things proved very limited. Then I began teaching emotionally disturbed children which left me totally drained by day’s end. Later I told myself.

Suddenly, I carried title of wife and mother of young children. I pushed aside the desire to write and consoled myself with When they are both in school. That day arrived, but along with freedom came several community volunteer opportunities, which I felt compelled to accept. My husband’s job involved me in many social events. More time lost.

Then one day, I found myself in a new town, both children on their own, no friends, no meetings, and I claimed boredom as my number one occupation. Flipping through a magazine, an ad stopped me cold. It claimed I could learn to write for children through a correspondence course.

Here I sat—fifty-three years old and bored. If not now, when? I set the magazine aside but thought about the ad all evening. The next day, I did some checking on the school and it seemed legit, so I sent in the aptitude test. My husband laughed and told me they’d take anyone who would pay the fee. “Maybe,” I responded.

I spent the next eighteen months taking the course and loving it. I wanted to write books for middle grade children, so the content proved perfect.

Flash forward nineteen years, and I’m a published writer! My first acceptance came from a children’s magazine, but I soon started to branch out into other kinds of writing—fiction, creative nonfiction, inspirational, poetry and finally, articles on the craft of writing. As time moved on, I realized my strength in writing lay in nonfiction, both the creative type and articles to help others learn to write. So that’s where I’ve pursued publication.

At seventy-two, I’m pleased to have a long list of my published work. I haven’t written the Great American Novel, but that’s alright. I’m in nearly twenty anthologies, myriad ezines, senior newspapers and magazines. I blog about my writing world, and I never stop trying to improve my writing. My work is not in the high dollar magazines, but I’m satisfied with the smaller markets.

Nevertheless, I often ask myself Why did I wait? If I’d started writing in my twenties, or even my thirties, I might have done even more. I wrote an article a few years ago called “Is It Too Late?” which has been published several times. I interviewed writers who began writing after the age of fifty. Every one regretted waiting.

So, if the busy life of a young career woman, wife and mother causes you to push your writing time aside, think again. Make time for writing in your life. When you’re a grandmother, who knows what fame you may have achieved. Go for it, and make in now!

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Bio: Nancy Julien Kopp has been published in many anthologies, the most recent being Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping The New You and Flashlight Memories published by Silver Boomer Books. Her creative non-fiction, poetry and articles appearsin many ezines, magazines and senior newspapers. She is a longtime member of writersandcritters, an online critique group for international women. Nancy blogs at


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Blogger Sioux said...

Maybe 53 is a magic age. I am about to turn 53 (in less than a week) and I in the midst of revising my children's picture book for publishing.

I loved your post.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

You are an inspiration. We are never to old to realize our dreams, you just confirmed that.. thank you

1:22 PM  
Blogger Sarah Pearson said...

What a wonderful post. I'm in my forties and just starting out. I wondered if it was best to keep it to myself and not bother trying for publication. You've reminded me that it's never too late. Thank you.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Very inspiring. Congratulations on your success. As a young (kind of) career woman, wife and mother, I'm trying to not let too much time pass by without fulfilling my writing goals.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

Congrats on all your achievements!
Even if you changed direction a bit later, you still have accomplished a lot.
Still in the 50s but I also took a turn towards writing & I am enjoying it immensely.
So glad you shared your experience!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Recovering Church Lady said...

Oh my goodness, this is so inspiring and the timing is perfect! I am 56 and just beginning to get intentional about writing. I love it and am having a blast but often wonder if it is too late. Thank you for this wonderful guest post!

3:12 PM  

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