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.
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