Turning 40 was the best thing I ever did. OK third best thing, I must be cheesy and say marrying my husband and having my girls rank above turning 40. For different and totally selfish reasons, 40 is awesome. I know, I just told my age (sort of).
Things I learned at 40:
- I care even less what most people think of me socially. Which is saying a lot. I’ve never been one for peer pressure.
- I like short hair, it’s easy get over it.
- No, I’m not dying the grey. Unless it’s blue, I really want blue hair.
- No I’m not going on a diet. Real women have curves. I can still fit in my pants so it’s all good.
40 was the catalyst for many things, writing was on of them. I have be a closet writer my entire life. Dabbling in poetry and short stories. I had the dream of writing a novel, but didn’t know how to start.
At 38, I had been looking for a “real” job for several years and was working part time at a job I hated. Happy was not a word I would use to describe that time in my life. I saw all of my plans up in smoke. I wasn’t a spy, I had never lived in New York, and I wasn’t a bestselling writer. I couldn’t do much about the first 2, but I could work on the last one.
In true teacher fashion, I checked out every book on writing a novel. I actually read 2 cover to cover and ended up buying them. I sat down wrote out my characters, compiling page after page of back story, and plotted on a giant sheet of construction paper. A year later I had a 60,000 word mystery. After editing, I sent it to a major New York agent- who quickly replied back she liked the idea but it was amateur. Ouch. That hurt.
I put the novel on the shelf and took a break. I’ve been “practicing” with short stories. Short stories tend to get a bad wrap, but they are great to try out new things. I haven’t given up on my novel or novel writing. The agent was right, it is a good story and it was the work of an amateur. I’m OK with that. I’m writing and I’m happy. Pass the ice cream.
What have you learned from turning______? (you pick the age)