Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Try and try again

Yesterday I met a fellow writer looking for a novel writing group. As ever, when meeting someone for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. What age, what her background was, what she’d written (if anything).

It turns out that she retired from being a doctor and became a life coach. She’s written loads of articles on the subject, and self published two books, but doesn’t quite know where to go with her business writing. Thinking with my journalist’s hat on, I suggested that I interview her – it may help her business and would certainly help me. She agreed, with a delighted smile.

She has also attended novel writing courses but keeps getting stuck half way through.
For those of you that don’t write, or don’t write fiction, this is very common. Mid Way Sag as it’s known in the trade. It’s easier to start a book, when you’re full of ideas, and ending it’s usually OK because you know where it’s going, and you’ve got to know the characters like your family, but sometimes in the middle you can lose faith. In yourself, the characters, the plot, your ability to finish it. It’s lonely and frightening walking along that narrow, dark tunnel with only your worst fears for company.

So I suggested that this lady comes to our group when she’s in Falmouth and having some support may help her. Or not – that’s probably up to her. I find my group invaluable.

But it was uplifting to meet someone who’s started another career post retirement. Just because you’re over 60 doesn’t mean you have to be put out to pasture.
Another member of my group is another lady who’s had multiple careers. She trained as a nurse in the fifties, then when her marriage broke up she trained as a teacher and taught psychology. When she retired from there she became a writer which is how I met her. Last year she collaborated on a psychology text book for nurses and she’s now writing a semi-autobiographical novel about her earlier life.

I met Himself when he was 56. We married when he was 59. He was sick of being a jeweller and became an inventor. Several years on he decided to try his hand at writing. (Well, we won’t mention the blog which is still wordless, though yesterday he did describe to me in great detail what he’s going to write when he is ready.)

What all of these people have in common is that they enjoy life. OK, so being a nurse/doctor/jeweller didn't work. They did something different. And they enjoyed it and learnt from it. Isn't that what life should be about?

So any of you that are having a bad day, feeling old before your time, or just creaky and useless (that’s me) – don’t despair. It’s never too late to try something else.


Elaine Denning said...

I suffer from mid way sag...and not just in my novel writing!

Akelamalu said...

Definitely never too late to do anything. I've just discovered a new lease of life now I can walk again!

Flowerpot said...

Sorry to hear that, missU!! How's that novel coming along, by the way?

Ak - must be such a relief to be able to walk again. I'm so pleased for you.

Cornish Dreamer said...

As you know FP, I suffer from that mid way sag too...but reading about "non-retirement" has been encouraging. RT

Flowerpot said...

I think we all have mid way sag in one way or another! It must be one of life's frequent pitfalls.

Louise Mitchell said...

There's a brilliant cure for midway sag. Never, ever look in a mirror unless it's got a life size picture of Kate Winslet on it. I've convinced myself I don't look a day over 30 and have a body to die for!

Flowerpot said...

excellent advice, Table. Being extremely short sighed, I manage to avoid most mirrors, even with my glasses on.