This series of interviews with authors aged 50+ aims to inspire women aged over 50 to make their next years their best years!
Q: Where do you hail from?
I was born in Leicester, but now live in Coventry, West Midlands.
Q: What one thing do you like most about where you live?
I live beside a lovely wood. It is wonderful to go for walks through the trees right on my doorstep!
Q: List no more than 5 words to describe yourself.
Sensitive, creative, loyal, honest, intuitive
Q: At what age did you start writing?
I started composing poetry in my early 50s. This came as quite a surprise to me. After using a technique called “Morning Pages” created by Julia Cameron in her book: “The Artists Way” which involves free writing each morning, I was stunned when after about 10 days what I wrote began to emerge spontaneously in rhyme.
Q: What is the title of your book and what inspired you to write it?
My latest book is: Believe You Can Live a Life You Love at 50+. I was inspired to write and compile it as I am passionate about helping women to value and share their personal stories. I took voluntary early retirement in my early fifties, and have since published 3 anthologies and my own poetry book. I was incredibly inspired to discover the revolution that had taken place in the world of self-publishing and the opportunities that this has opened up to enable us all to share our writing and personal stories.
Q: What influenced you to write about your life?
We all have a story to share. The more that we feel able to value our own personal journeys and experiences, the better able we are to know and understand ourselves, and potentially to help and inspire others. It can also be very revealing and cathartic to write about your own life.
Q: How do you wish to inspire others with your writing?
I wish for others to explore and experiment. I was amazed at how writing “Morning Pages” unlocked my creativity, and I wish others to be inspired to try out techniques like journaling, memoir writing, sharing their stories and perhaps moving on to write books of their own.
Q: Do you feel your writing nature changed after you turned 50? If so, how?
Yes. I had felt incredibly blocked around writing. When I began to write in rhyme, I found I enjoyed the playful side of writing. I even participated in “poetry duels” with others where we inspired each other to respond to a poem in rhyme.
Q: What impact do you think your book(s) will have on women aged above 50?
I know that the impact on the authors themselves is often quite profound. By starting to write a short story in an anthology, there is less pressure than when looking to write a full book. Then, for the reader, I think it is reassuring to read about what other women have experienced. To know that you are not alone, and that others have been where you are now, and have found ways of overcoming obstacles and building their confidence.
Q: How do you motivate yourself at age 50+?
I am still grappling with this one! I have bursts of creative inspiration, and fill pages with ideas. Sometimes I am motivated to see an idea through to completion, other times not! I find it easiest when I take a step back and allow myself to tune into my intuition. Often the next step presents itself to me. I do like to bounce my ideas off others. I am motivated by the thought that others will be inspired by my words and books to overcome their own fears and blocks.
Q: Do you believe you are living the life you have always wanted?
I still have a way to go with this. I feel that there is still more to unfold, not least a move of location in the not too distant future. I certainly enjoy the freedom to work on my own creative projects, and the opportunity to work and collaborate with other creatives.
Q: How has your writing affected your quality of life?
I feel that my writing has opened up a more creative and playful side of me.
Q: Which book or author has most helped you change your life at the age of 50+?
Julia Cameron and her book “The Artists Way”.
Q: What piece of advice do you have for other women over the age of 50 that could help them live the rest of their lives in the best way possible?
If you feel that you have lost something of your old sparkle, it is likely that something needs to change. Take some time for yourself. Tune in to what you desire, and what you need to let go of. Introduce something new into your life that takes you a step nearer to your desires. Repeat this process regularly.
Q: Please share an inspiring or motivational excerpt from your current book.
BANISH YOUR BLUES!
Grab a handy paintbrush,
Allow it to run rife!
Paint a vivid picture,
Penetrate your life.
A riot of rampant colour,
Redolent, raw and real,
Wash away woeful worries,
Banish boring brown,
Obliterate with wild flurries,
Remnants of careworn frown.
Daub as if possessed,
Splatter vivid colour,
Plaster over past regrets.
Relish rainbow revelations,
Brush away those blues!
Claim your inner artist,
Garnish with glowing, garish hues!
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
I have two books in the pipeline. Both are non-fiction books aimed at women in midlife. One is around writing a book at 50+, the other is to help women to uncover their lost sparkle.
Q: What advice would you give to other women who are thinking of writing a book at age 50+?
It is more straightforward than ever to write a book at any age. It can be daunting to start off by thinking that you are aiming to write the perfect novel, or a best-selling non-fiction book. Perhaps start smaller, by contributing a chapter to an anthology, or by writing a shorter book on a topic you know a lot about or a short story. This helps to build your confidence.
Q: How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Via this website.
This series of Q and A with female authors aged 50 and above, helps us understand how they use their books to help change lives and motivate other women above 50 to live a life they love. If you, or someone you know, would like to participate, please contact me. You can also sign up for occasional updates.