Many people do not think about starting a new career at fifty later, most people are thinking about retirement planning or reaching the pinnacle of their profession, the brass ring, the office in the corner. You may recognize these as some of the more traditional concepts of a career drummed into those of us fifty and over. We may or may not be following those concepts, but if your one of those who broke free from the stereotype early, I congratulate you! And if you are someone who has already retired and maybe thinking of taking up a new activity but you don’t want to go back to work, then this series of articles is for you!
Why I Decided to Start Publishing at Age Fifty
“I’ve always enjoyed writing.” You’ve probably heard that in every interview of every successful or popular author you’ve ever heard. And the reason it very likely to be true. I have found that it seems especially true for fiction writers. Many of us grew up writing little stories or poetry and maybe pushed it aside for jobs and careers with a guaranteed paycheck or a paycheck of a certain amount. I know that is true in my case. But, I always found ways to include writing in my work, volunteering to write the business continuity plan, editing technical and software documents, I even had an internship where I helped write the copyright policy for a university.
I half heartedly sent out query letters when I was younger, but the mountain seemed insurmountable. I wasn’t getting any acceptance letters back and I had bills to pay. So again, I pushed the writing aside. I continued to write my short stories and novels in whatever notebook I had on hand until one day my husband who was working in a public library at the time, suggested I try self publishing. I had of course, heard of it, but I didn’t really know much about it. I started reading books on the subject and listening to podcast on my daily commute. And I decided, I’d give it a try and I published my first book in 2017. I won’t sugar coated it isn’t easy and it is a lot of hard work, but the rewards are higher too. Yes, you do all the work (mostly), you do the research, the writing, the initial editing, but trust me when I tell you it is worth paying for a good editor. You may want to pay for a good cover too, unless you are good at graphic arts, the frustration level sometimes just isn’t worth it. Pay someone else to handle the things you don’t enjoy or aren’t technically capable of doing. There are some very good resources out there to help you. But, the one thing that I struggle with is the marketing. Marketing is hard, it takes time and for me more energy than the actual writing of the book. But, it can be done. It has been done, and you can do it too!
If you’re interested in doing a little research or getting started in self publishing here are some helpful websites and podcasts.