Wordsmith at 60 by Keri Kruspe
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Keri Kruspe as she shares with us “Wordsmith at 60.” Enjoy!
Half my life’s in books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know it’s true, oh
All the things come back to you
When you approach the latter part of your life, would you slow down?
To back off from advancing in your current career or take on a new one?
Or will you take the time to learn how to relax?
No? Well, me neither.
It’s hard for me to believe I’m in my early sixties.
A couple of years ago I took the plunge and started a new career as a published indie author at 59. I still have a full-time job at a local bank.
Ever since then, I’ve been on a continual quest to better myself in my chosen field. But, a tiny part of me has become uneasy.
I’d hoped to be a full-time author by now, which I’m not. It doesn’t help when I look around that most of the folks I watch on podcasts or read training material from are in their 30s or 40s.
They have plenty of time to build up a following that will make their dreams come true. If I’m lucky, I have maybe ten or twenty years to do the same thing. I’m worried I started too late.
Did I Start Too Late as a Wordsmith?
One of those training sessions brought back my insecurities of the lack of time I have.
During a podcast by Reedsy featuring Nicholas Erik titled, “Book Marketing—Use your existing skills to sell more books,” he gave a 2-minute assignment. We had to ask one of our closest friends in an email for honest feedback on the question, “What am I good at?”
While the clock ticked, they gave a couple of examples.
Someone might be good at social media while another might excel at analytical endeavors (i.e. advertising).
Hmm, I suck at both things. I don’t like social media and I don’t have the patience to analyze anything.
Not wanting to ask my hubby (he’d only say I was bossy anyway), I asked a friend the next day to give me constructive criticism.
She said I was not only a dependable person, but I was a forward thinker. Someone who planned things three or four steps ahead of what needed to be done.
Okay, so how does that help me be a successful author?
Wordsmith, Focus on Your Strengths
When I researched who my target marketing demographics were, I concluded it’s mostly women between the ages of 30 to 45. Because of that, I felt it best to keep my age in the background.
Not that I’m ashamed or embarrassed about my age, but I didn’t want to seem like an outlier. I never intended to mislead, just focus on what folks that age would appreciate.
But listening to that podcast, an epiphany hit.
One thing that I had going for me was my age.
- An avid romance reader for over 45 years.
- Decades of working as a manager in the financial industry.
- While I still work at a bank, I no longer work in management. Thank God, not as much stress.
- My kids are grown and out of the house. Fewer interruptions and more “self” time to write.
- Having lived through my thirties and forties, it’s easy for me to draw on that experience.
- Except for arthritis creeping in my fingers, I’m in pretty good health. Not on any medication… knock on wood.
Wordsmithing At My Age
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes
My overall question is, can there be a place at the table for folks my age as an indie publisher? One who wants to write for folks much younger?
How feasible is it for someone in their sixties to start the next phase of their life doing that?
To answer that question, I did a little research.
On the Writer’s Relief website, they have an article about six authors who debuted as senior citizens. It surprised me that two of them wrote children’s books:
- Laura Ingalls Wilder, age 65—Little House on the Prairie
- Richard Adams, age 52—Watership Down
The oldest debut senior author mentioned was Lorna Page.
In 2008 at the sexy age of 93, she published a mystery novel called A Dangerous Weakness.
I love this cover.
Take The Leap (Yes, you wordsmith!)
To the gypsy
Her face says freedom
With a little fear
I have no fear
Have only love
I took comfort knowing that there are a lot of folks my age and older embarking on different careers. I’m in good company.
My advice to anyone who is thinking about doing something different, something radical at an older age is… take the leap.
What have you got to lose?
You carry a ton of life experience to draw on.
If you’re lucky enough to be retired, that gives you extra time to learn all aspects of publishing.
Now, you may wonder why I’ve listed classic rock songs in this article. There are a couple of reasons.
First, it’s what I listen to. It’s something I constantly listened to as a teenager. As I lose myself in building my romantic worlds, I make sure it’s playing in the background.
Second, I chose these songs because their lyrics motivate me (I’m the Gypsy!). They encourage me to enter unfamiliar territory as the winter of my life rolls in.
In closing, I’ll share words of wisdom from one of my favorite bands…
I never lost one minute of sleepin’ worryin’ about the way that things might have been – “Proud Mary,” Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures, Keri’s first series is An Alien Exchange trilogy. An Alien Exchange is the first book in the arousing Alien Exchange sci-fi romance series. If you like sexy aliens, feisty heroines, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Keri Kruspe’s steamy space adventure.
Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. For goodies, news of upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter at www.kerikruspe.com.