When I was young, many decades ago, I used to say I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
Me: “I want to be a writer when I grow up!”
Hah! I’ve certainly done many things since then which involved writing – writing briefs for the Massachusetts court, drama criticism for a monthly magazine, book reviews for a local newspaper, magazine and newspaper ads to persuade women to buy things (“the bra to feel you’re not wearing a bra in”), a master’s thesis on twentieth-century literary criticism, and even the beginning of a doctoral dissertation, never finished.
But I was never actually “a writer.” (“Copywriter” doesn’t really come close.) I guess I just never grew up. Despite my birth year.
Nonetheless, it has occurred to me I may be running out of time and had better get going.
However the things I now want to write about have changed. Back those many decades ago, I always thought my past would be my subject – either fictionalized (in the third person) or straight up (me, me, me). Not that I then had a very long or colorful past. But what I had I thought worth enjoying, or resenting, all over again in the writing of it.
What interests me more now is my present: the latter part of life. There isn’t a lot written about what’s going on inside those of us who have aged ourselves, voluntarily or otherwise, out of the workplace and are now in the eighth, ninth and even tenth decades of life.
In other words, not a whole lot written about what it’s like to be, um, old.
In 2008, the English writer Diana Athill published a wonderful little book called Somewhere Towards The End: A Memoir. But as far as I know, she is nearly alone in writing honestly and helpfully about moving on towards 100.
So that’s what I’d like to explore. Online – where I may find a community of others being involuntarily transported into this uncharted territory. It even has a title already: “The Getting-Old Blog.” If it turns into a book eventually, so be it. If not, not.
But first things first. Did I mention yet that I’m a technological dufus? Yes, I learned to type at fifteen in summer school. (What girl in those days didn’t?) And learned to use a computer at a law firm. But blogging?
Which brings us back to Room 132 and “How to Create a Website.”
And also brings us (if anyone is with me here) to “Learning to Blog: 1:6.”