Thursday, September 25, 2008

Follow your bliss... any age.

There has been a great deal of talk recently about the novel, The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent (Little, Brown). The book is receiving rave reviews and was featured on the publisher's fall catalog cover.

I haven't read the book (yet), and I don't know the author, but I wanted to mention something else that I find remarkable about the publication of this book.

This a debut novel. Not only is this Kathleen's Kent's first book, it is her first publication of any kind.

Kathleen Kent spent five years writing and researching the story, based on a personal family history.

Kathleen Kent is 54 years old.

Think of this for a moment: Kathleen Kent spent the first 50 years of her life raising a family and working in a field that had nothing to do with writing. She began writing at an age when many people are thinking about early retirement. Not only did she begin her writing career at a fairly late age, she put the time and energy into it to produce an excellent book and make good things happen. Kathleen Kent has set an example that every aspiring writer should emulate.

Whatever your age--whether you are 20 or 70--do not let your doubts and fears hold you back from pursuing your dreams. If you have decent health and a strong mind, you, too, can make good things happen.

If writing is your passion, here are few easy pointers to remember:

Write every day. Musicians know that practice improves the craft. Pablo Casals, one of the greatest cellists in the world, continued to practice cello several hours a day well into his 90s. When he was asked by a friend why he still worked so hard on the cello, he said, "I think I'm improving." Writers need to remember this lesson. Practice, practice, practice.

Read--a lot. Why re-invent the wheel when you can learn the tricks from the masters? Read the classics, great works of literature, and works in the genre you write. Study the techniques of craft and apply them to your own work.

Believe in yourself and treat your writing as something essential in your life. We do first what is most important to us. If you are serious about your writing, then put it at the top of your priority list.

Happy writing! And, if you get a chance, take a look The Heretic's Daughter. It sounds terrific.

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