But first, I have a confession to make.
I started this blog as a way of marketing my book. There, it’s out. If you feel like dropping me now, I understand.
But something interesting happened to this blog a couple years ago. I found my stride, opened my soul and started pouring out my thoughts about wanting to age powerfully instead of apologetically. The more I called out, the more you answered. We’ve gathered around this electronic campfire in increasing numbers. Some days I get hundreds of visitors, all tuning into the issues that you and I find compelling.
Although most of us are women of middle age and older, we are men, too. We’re wondering how to navigate these last twenty, thirty, forty (God willing) years. How to find the joy and not crumble under the onslaught of change. How to savor the journey, and stop apologizing for our age.
I was at a writing conference a while back, and I was moved by a couple of speakers, one old, one young. The first spoke about accomplishing something in older age; the second, about selling your stuff without selling your soul:
Frederick Ramsay started writing in his mid-sixties. After two bouts of cancer and one stroke, this human dynamo produced 13 books in 10 years – or maybe it was 10 books in 13 years, but who cares? It’s taken me 10 years to write ONE. Anyway he stood up on stage at this conference and said, in effect, I have to hurry, man. I don’t have a lot of time. He said it plainly, with a strong voice, and it didn’t sound sad or pitiful. It was real, and powerful. This awesome, thoughtful, funny man is using his age to fuel his fire.
On the other end of the age scale is Jeremy Lee James. He gave a voice to my emerging hesitation about marketing my work via social media. Jeremy was teaching a workshop called First Principles: A Writer’s Website and Winning Tactics. He said he worked on the preso for three weeks, but a couple of days before the conference, he trashed it all because, as he said, it made him feel dirty.
This dude knows everything about SEO optimization, Google analytics, and all the tricks to get a high return on your internet marketing efforts. And he was prepared to share those tricks with us. Instead, he came to that workshop and told us about a different path he wanted to follow instead. Make your blog – make your online presence – art. Give a gift to humanity. The business, the income, the commercial success will follow if it’s meant to. If it doesn’t happen, you’re not on your true path and you should find something else to do. I couldn’t believe this commercial wizard was telling me something so organic, but it resonated. I appreciated him for it.
Although I only met these men that one time, I consider them mentors. They provided thoughtful guidance, and I feel empowered as a result. Don’t you love when that happens?