Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thoughts About Writing

I just turned 78. I want to be a writer when I grow up.
The president of the Ivy League college I attended told us, at graduation, that each member of our class had a book inside. I’ve been thinking about that ever since.
So I’ve done a little writing, off and on. As a very young parent of four kids (I was married and pregnant when I graduated from college – not such an odd thing back then) I read a lot, and wrote letters to the New York Times. Several got published. But no book yet.
When the kids were older, my husband and I divorced after 19 ½ years (ouch), and I got a job teaching English at a Philadelphia high school. My first job.
The school was located in a run-down, drug-infested part of the city. Think “The Wire”. Seeking more peaceful surroundings, I started going out birding on weekends with local groups. The writing urge kicked in again. I submitted articles about birds and bird travel to various publications, and a few manuscripts were accepted. I haven’t written any of those for a while. I do think about trying it again.
Meanwhile, in revisiting a long-time love of Charles Dickens’s novels, my second husband and I wrote study guides for several of his novels for junior high and high school classroom use. Published by the Dickens Project at UCSC, they sold briskly for a while, and then not so much.
I busy myself with all sorts of stuff – travel (mostly bird-related), reading, gardening, music (mostly opera, lately), regular exercise, Facebook (too much time wasted on it).
But still no book.
So, now, here I am, retired, happily married, kids all grown up and gone. Grandkids growing up too. I have no excuse for not getting started on a book. As I said at the beginning, when I grow up I’ll get back to writing, full-time. I might even try writing a memoir or a novel.