Melissa Ann Goodwin is a wonderful writer that I was introduced to by WOW (Women On Writing). It turns out that Melissa and I are both bookish types that hail from the same New England town…small world! I love her post and am taking it to heart – Thanks, Melissa!
Guest Post: The Benefits of Being a Late Blooming Writer
by Melissa Ann Goodwin
Many of us who delayed pursuing our true callings tend to be pretty hard on ourselves for taking so long to get cracking. For many years, I beat myself up for doing everything except write. But now I realize there are a lot of reasons why it can be better to come into your own a little later in life. Here are three reasons why, for me, it’s been better to be a late blooming writer:
I’m less eager to please: As a young woman, I craved approval from others. Back then, I would have been so flattered that someone wanted to publish my work that I fear I would have done whatever they asked (or told) me to do. I wouldn’t have had the courage or confidence to say NO, or to stand up for my own views. My soul would have ached for authenticity. Now that I’m older, I have a very clear sense of myself and of what I want to present to the world under my name. Of course, I want to “please others” in the sense that I hope that there will be people out there who love my work. But at least they will love the true essence of me and what I have to offer.
I’m Waaaaaaay Less Sensitive to Rejection: By the time we reach middle-age, most of us have experienced plenty of rejection. When we’re young, it’s all so personal and painful! Over time, we grow to realize that it’s not always personal, it’s not a reflection of our true worth, and it’s not necessarily an indication of the quality of our work. It’s just someone’s opinion. Had I pursued writing more aggressively when I was younger, I think it’s likely I would have given up, because rejection was so hard to take back then.
I’m less afraid: It’s pretty common for writers to be afraid of both success and failure. In middle-age, I have a far different definition of both than I did in my twenties or thirties. Back then, it was about recognition and money. Now, my definition of success is realizing my potential as a person and a writer. As long as I’m doing that, there is no such thing as failure.
I hope that my thoughts here will help folks out there who’ve been tough on themselves for getting a late start. Don’t despair! Everything you’ve done, everything you’ve been through, matters. It will all go into the cauldron and make you a better writer or artist or teacher or whatever it is you aspire to be. But don’t wait too much longer – time’s a-wasting.
About the author: Melissa Ann Goodwin is a native New Englander, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, artist J. Richard Secor. She has written extensively for Fun for Kidz, Boys’ Quest and Hopscotch for Girls. She was a regular feature article contributor to the Caregiver’s Home Companion for more than five years. Her poetry took 10th prize in The Writer’s Digest 2010 annual competition. WOW! Women On Writing Blog tour. We’re hosting a giveaway of her book. The Christmas Village is her first novel.
The Christmas Village is a sweet tale of magic and escapism, hope and courage. Young Jamie Reynolds and his mom are in bad place – his father has left them after some financial misdeeds (vague but troubling) and Jamie feels like an outcast, especially when his best friend isn’t allowed to be friends with him anymore! His mom decides that they will spend the holidays with her family in Vermont. A dream of a simpler life is granted to Jamie and he is drawn into a sweet world where he makes good friends and where trust and kindness carry the day. Great story and lovely life lessons told in a quiet, understated manner with a little magic (and time travel) thrown in for good measure.
You can win a copy of this engaging book (in time for Christmas, no less) by making a comment below. Thanks!
Winner will be chosen by super fun plug-in called And the Winner is… and your name will be posted here. You will be contacted by email as well by the publisher and they will mail the book to you. Good luck!
Melissa Ann Goodwin
The Christmas Village
The Author, Melissa Ann Goodwin now…
Melissa Gulley is the winner of The Christmas Village. She will receive an email from Women on Writing and they will send her a copy of this wonderful book!