The old idiom, life begins at forty, could not be truer for me. I’d never understood the saying, thinking it was some feel-good tripe that old people said. Now it’s become a very personal thing that happened to me. I had a poignant moment about my life. I looked back and realised that even though it is said life passes quickly, it really doesn’t. I’ve experienced a hell of a lot in my forty years – things I remember and things I don’t. I might not have achieved as much as I would’ve liked, or travelled as much as I wanted to, but I’ve experienced a plethora of emotions, attempted a multitude of activities and found a person to spend the rest of my life with. I’ve even made another little human being with him, one that I am shaping and moulding to be as independent and well-rounded as possible, so I can release her into the world at a suitable age. She’s only three, so this is one of my more recent adventures.
It was an eternity ago that I was in school, almost forever ago when I grudgingly attended tertiary studies, centuries ago when I was in my clueless twenties and trying to decide what I wanted out of life, decades ago when I was in my thirties and starting to feel together, and not that long ago when I decided I was complete enough to give emotional support and dedication to a little human being. During all that time I’ve been writing and imagining stories, even managing to publish a few, but not making a serious attempt at it. There were other things to distract me, things that I now understand weren’t valuable, weren’t productive.
So now I look to the future, at potentially forty more years of producing writing of a much higher quality. I now understand the paths I can take to achieve my dreams, in setting realistic goals. Of course being a best-selling famous author is a fantasy that may or may not actualise, because that depends on other people (like readers), but I’m going to do everything I can to set myself up with that goal in mind, instead of just wishing for it.
Writing life begins at forty… or fifty, or thirteen. Any age really. It’s never too late or too early.
- Why Do Writers Write? (donacantrell.com)