My wife and I had a long talk over the weekend (or earlier this week, maybe?) about our future. I’ll say up front, we are both in our early-to-mid-60s, not necessarily “too old,” but certainly pushing the envelope for something like starting a brand new career.
So we’ve compromised — she’ll pretty much keep doing what she’s doing, and I will get back to the roots of what I’ve wanted to do all along: writing novels.
We’d just finished that part of the conversation when I let her in on the plans I had bubbling for a series of fantasy/adventure novels that could run as many as 10 volumes. Her immediate comment was something like: “Oh, that’s great dear. But maybe you should consider something smaller than 10?”
After some good natured joking about recent best-selling authors who’ve died suddenly, leaving their fans in the middle of series books that will never be continued (Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis, to be precise), we moved on to other things.
But I’ve thought about that. Should I truly spend a lot of time expecting to finish and sell a novel at my age? How about planning for a series of volumes? Will “old age,” or Alzheimer’s, or death step in and put a stop to my “series” in a big way??
Then I thought about our financial resources in terms of my dedicating a ton of time and work to novels — and I realized our finances are pretty shaky at best. Finally, I looked at my overweight, underactive body and general mediocre health and realized that was going against me, too. (And I’ve mentioned before, I have no health insurance currently, not federal, state or local, neither short term health insurance nor plain old long term health insurance; none, nada, zip.)
After carefully weighing all those factors at some length and holding follow-up conversations with my dear wife, we concluded this: WHY THE HECK NOT??
Life may be incredibly long or suddenly shortened for any of us. The challenge about living is to LIVE during the days, months, and years we have on this old ball of vegetation, dirt, and water. If you’re in your 20s, and you have a big plan for your writing, go for it. If, like me, you’re in your 60s — or 70s, 80s, etc.! — why the heck not go for it, too?
You’re a writer. You have something better or more fun to do with your time? Then maybe you really aren’t a writer. Go ahead, get busy. Write something we’ll all be proud of.