Post by NCW member Laura Lee Carter
I submitted as essay for the last Bylines 2010 Writer's Desk Calendar, and just received my 2010 complementary calendar with my essay inside. Even though I've certainly been paid more for my work in the past few years, my entry in this calendar, which features weekly essays by 53 different writers, somehow felt special. It seems I have finally been accepted by my peers as a writer.
Here's my 2010 Bylines essay on writing:
I experienced some difficult times before finally becoming a writer at age 50. There were moments when I feared I was just a midlife loser. Since then I have decided that a loser is someone who gives up on their dreams.
I slowly came to realize that all of my lifetime heroes could have been considered failures at some point in their lives. People like Gloria Steinem, Jane Goodall, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, had no assurances that they would ever amount to anything. They certainly had doubts about how they spent their lives. The difference is that they believed enough in themselves and their dreams to follow through.
My favorite writer is Henry David Thoreau. Now there's a man many would not define as a hero. He led the quiet life of a naturalist, philosopher and writer and died at age 44. But his words had far reaching impact on political leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and writers like Tolstoy, Edward Abbey, Cather, Proust, Yeats, and Hemingway. I'm sure Thoreau sometimes wondered about how he was spending his life, but followed through with a strong sense of purpose to match his wandering spirit.
It is far easier to keep to the path of least resistance, than to take a risk, stand up for yourself, and make a difference. You don't need to analyze it to death, just figure out what gives your life meaning and follow that path. Be courageous and live your dream.
Please consider writing your own essay and send it in to Sylvia@bylinescalendar.com Limit your total words to 300 between your essay and a short bio at the end.
Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen!
Life Change Coach, Freelance Writer, Editor, Inspirational Speaker