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 www.writergrannysworld.blogspot.com

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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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6 Comments:

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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