Blogs by Edeltraud F. Fellendorf
ABOUT WRITING & PUSHING 80
12/31/2009 6:31:20 AM
By Cindy Rodriguez, Commander, U.S. Navy (ret.)
Mom's directed me to focus this blog on becoming an author at 80. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we've been encouraging Mom to capture her life in a book for years; so have her friends. I managed to get her to start writing several times in the past four years, but she always stopped.
I started pushing her to write mainly because I noticed she was getting depressed and was very unhappy. She really didn't have anything to focus on so she started focusing on the end. Every time she started to write, I noticed that she would stop after we went to a bookstore. She would point at all the books and say, "Look at all these books. With all this out there, who would be interested in reading mine?" Discouraged, she would stop writing.
The last time I got her to start writing (June 2008), she was on the verge of quitting again until I bought her a couple of memoirs to read from a bookstore. They were both written by people who lived through the war in Germany. I told her to read them so she could discover for herself that her life experiences were much different, much more interesting. Unlike the other authors, she was much older and therefore remembered more. Unlike the other authors, she experienced the full brunt of the war in Berlin.
Finally, I saw a spark in her eyes and a total shift in her attitude as she realized her story was special. And, if those people could write a book, so could she; hers would be even better. My Mom's whole attitude changed as she focused more on her book. She was upbeat and full of life again.
If anyone has a depressed, aging parent they love very much, I would encourage you to get them started on a book -- any kind of book. Once they have something of their own to care about again, the transformation will amaze you. It might not be easy to get them started, but you must keep trying to convince them that there is a story inside everyone. Make sure you tell them about my Mom who will be 80 when her book hits the electronic shelves. It might not be a best seller, but it will be one to her -- that's all that really matters.
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