It's Never Too Late, an essay by Dianne Moritz at Spillwords.com
Ralph Nas

It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late

written by: Dianne Moritz

 

As a writer, I found success late in life. Although I’ve been writing since childhood, I never dreamed I could actually publish anything. Still, life is full of surprises: creativity blossoms, connections are made, epiphanies happen, then, suddenly, it veers off in a direction previously unimaginable.
In my mid-thirties, I felt dissatisfied and frustrated, so I went into therapy. I found a therapist who encouraged me to jot down my feelings and dreams in journals. I followed his advice. I scribbled nearly every night, which led to anecdotes, poems, stories, letters to editors, and opinion pieces.
Reading women’s magazines, I noticed that most of them featured a last page personal essay. I can do that, I thought.
I discussed this with my doctor, who said, “Go for it.” I complied.
As the old adage goes, it’s never too late. After submitting my compositions to magazines and newspapers around the country, I scored my very first sale, a humor piece, to Woman’s World for $300, in 1983 at age 37. Another sale to them soon followed.
Yes, I’m a late bloomer, but I’m in great company.
Laura Ingalls Wilder published “Little House on the Prairie” at age 65. She eventually wrote an eight book series that is still popular today. It is the book that keeps on giving….inspiring a hit television show that aired from 1974-1982….and earning millions.
Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women,” was 37 when it came out. She is quoted as saying, “I want to do something splendid…something wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…I shall write books.” Her book has been adapted for six films to date, plus a few plays, several mini-series, an opera, a ballet, and a musical. Wow, she’s remembered alright.
And everyone on the planet knows about JK Rowling, a divorced, single parent, who penned the Harry Potter series, spawning many block-buster movies, and raking in billions.
But here’s the thing, when you’re passionate about something, it’s never about the money. If great success comes, it is merely icing on the cake.
The legendary confessional poet, Charles Bukowski, wrote stories and poems for years while traveling around and working various jobs. Hearse Press published his first chapbook of poems in 1960. Bukowski was forty and working for the post office in Los Angeles. In 1969, he quit to write full-time. “I have one of two choices – stay in the post office and go crazy…or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.” He completed his first novel “Post Office” less than a month later, at age 49. Of course, he didn’t starve, as Black Sparrow Press published most of his subsequent works.
There are numerous writers who found success later in life. Children’s writer, and one of my Facebook friends, Laurie Wallmark, received her MFA and published her debut book, Dino Pajama Party, at 61. Five female STEM biographies followed.
I was 54 when I sold my poem, SANTA LIVES, to Peter, Pauper, Press, who then published it as a holiday gift book. I subsequently sold 4 more picture books. My latest one came out right before my 76th birthday. A year later, I continue to write picture books, haiku, poetry for both kids and adults, as well as essays and editorials.
Hey, google “late bloomers” and you’ll find scores of other older writers, and lots of late bloomers in other fields, too.
Yes, it’s never too late to follow your passion, no matter what it is. Senior citizens run marathons. President Carter’s mother joined the Peace Corps. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter just released a documentary about her mother. So, wish upon a star, and follow your dreams whenever and wherever they take you.

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