THE AUTHOR AT 50
When I started writing my first book of poetry for women in mid-life, I was 50 and so psyched. I really loved the melding of writing plus the photography, and I had a wonderful support group of women of all ages.
I went thrift shopping with my wonderful friend, Elisa, who introduced me to this, by the way. Now, I’m somewhat obsessive, so I tend to get that way when confronted with many reasonable choices, and I love clothes. I am like a “kid in a candy shop”, except its clothes, not candy.
The upshot is, I got a whole wardrobe of cute short skirts, sleeveless tops, etc., in soft, feminine style that’s was a little sexy– I was 25 or 30 pounds lighter at 50 and still had the legs for short skirts (see above picture, and that is a thrift shop dress!). I think I spent about $30.00 and got 20 things! I thought that I was going to become a “famous” author, so I wanted to dress the part.
But, I never really wore those clothes. Just because you write a book doesn’t magically attract the attention you want it to. I tried to self-market with little success. It’s tough for the self-published author, you have to make a lot of contacts.
A decade later, I’m working on my third book. I am still self-publishing; however I have learned to be a little savvier, and somewhat realistic. You still have to be a bit of a dreamer and keep a sense of humor.
I don’t care that I am not making a living on my writing. I believe if you love to do something, and you are able to do it without it being a hardship, then you should do it! Creating a product that is zany, inspiring to others, and humorous is right up my alley!
I still love to thrift shop, buying too many clothes, then donating some of them back. And that’s O.K.
I’m shifting my “look” to more of an aging hippy/Chico’s/JJill style. I’m sure that I could pull together the correct ensemble if I needed to make an appearance. Otherwise, I am in comfortable clothes most of the time.
Working on the internet, you can be as visible or invisible as you want to be. And I can Photoshop any photos that I want to if I don’t like the way I look—ha!
Here’s one of my poems about trying to love the “stranger within”, from the eBook Stranger in a Strange Skin. This poem will appear in my up and coming book, entitled A Redhead Looks At 60.
Loving the Stranger Within
So how do I come to accept and love
This somewhat changed and
First, I have to spend some one on one time
With me and myself
Get to know the old/new girl
Learn what inspires her
Secondly, I must exercise self-love
No matter what—
It is still my body, my flesh
This is how I look and it’s fine
Aging is not the adversary we think it is
The enemy is our culture
This we must change and
Pass the truth on to our daughters
The revelation is that women are
Beautiful at any age
We always were, we always will be
Go with hearts and eyes wide open
Live your beauty
©All creative works by Joan Ellen Gage are her exclusive property, and Joan maintains the legal rights to them.