Thanks for the Welcome & a Brief Introduction

Happy Wodin’s Day Everybody! I’m Marcia, and I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful welcome I received yesterday from the gang here at Story Empire and from many of their friends and followers! You’ve all made me feel right at home, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this blog for a long time! I don’t have any smiling doggie pics or fireworks today, but I’m very happy to be part of this team, as you can see.

I’d like to start my first post with a wee bit about me, for those I’ve not met on social media yet. I believe I’m the senior citizen of this super group, turning 76 on St. Patrick’s Day, though maybe we can keep that a little secret just between us. 😊 I’m also that rarest of things, a Florida native. (I’ve heard it rumored there’s some guy up in the panhandle claiming to be one, too, but I think that’s most likely crazy talk and completely unfounded.)

At any rate, you’ll probably be able to recognize my posts right off. I’ll be the one writing with a southern accent, complaining in every season about the sweltering heat down here, and always on the alert for excuses to head out on the beautiful St. Johns River, where I can enjoy the birds and wildlife Florida is famous for. Or at least post about them now and then!

I’ve spent the past week or two dreaming up writing-related topics for future posts here on Story Empire. So far, my list includes everything from the current trend of foregoing chapter titles, to a few lines about the ever-powerful pilcrow, to a series called “Why Write Wrong?” For today, however, I’d like to dive headfirst into a subject that’s truly near and dear to my heart, and one of the most important life lessons I’ve learned over the decades.

Like many of you, I’m pretty sure I arrived on this planet already in love with words and books. Also like many of you, I dreamed of living a beautiful, creative life, involving a cottage on the beach where I’d spend endless hours writing and painting, all the while surrounded by lots and lots of cats. (Umm … that was what most of you were dreaming, right?)

But dreams or no dreams, my life went careening off in another direction, aided and abetted by well-meaning (but misguided) parents, and it took me decades to get back on track. Seriously. I’m talking more than fifty years before—at the ripe old age of 69—I wrote my first book!  It was a bucket list thing, but it did well enough that I decided to write another one. And another. And a couple more. And I can honestly say, hands down, it’s been the happiest work of my life, so here’s the message I’d like to share today.

It’s never too late to follow your dream.

Let me repeat that, only in normal-sized print and some fancy Italics. It’s never too late to follow your dream! In the (almost) seven years since I wrote my first book, I’ve written six more novels, two novellas, and a book of poetry. Honest! And believe me, if I can do it, you can too, no matter what your own dream might be.

  • Don’t think you can’t. You can.
  • Don’t wait for permission. You don’t need it.
  • Don’t wait for the time to be perfect. It never will be.
  • Don’t let age or lack of experience slow you down. The first is irrelevant, and the second will disappear as you make progress.
  • Do get up every day with the knowledge that your dream is worth the effort.
  • Do work hard. There are no shortcuts.
  • Do keep an open mind. There may be a better way to accomplish your goal.
  • Do remind yourself of your dream daily. Post-It notes, memes, whatever it takes.
  • Do love what you’re doing. A labor of love is always the most rewarding work.
  • Do your very best work, and never settle for less.

And that’s all there is to it!

I say, go for it. What have you got to lose? There’s not much sadder than not even trying, you know. Heck, even trying and failing is better than making no effort at all! And just think how wonderful you’ll feel if you succeed. If you climb that mountain! Or master the art of French cooking! Or, like me, write that first book!

The important thing is to stop wishing for things to be different and take that first step. You can make it happen! I know, because I did!

I’ll leave you to ponder possibilities, but I’ll be back. And when it’s my turn again, I’ll be sharing my first Why Write Wrong? post, a quick lesson on how to avoid some very common mistakes.

In the meantime, don’t forget!

And now, it’s your turn. Have you made a long-held dream come true? Or is something still holding you back? Tell us about it. Inquiring minds wanna know!

~~~

 

62 thoughts on “Thanks for the Welcome & a Brief Introduction

    • If you saw the REAL dancing Marcia these days, you’d realize the one above is a major improvement! 😀 It’s fine with me if you think of her every time you see a post from me over here. 😉 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I just hate to see people getting sadder and sadder because there’s something they’ve always wanted to do, but never tried. Especially folks who think it’s too late for them to go for it. If I can encourage a few souls to take that first step, it makes me very happy! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and for taking a moment to comment! 🙂 ❤

      Like

  1. You’re an inspiration, Marcia! Chuckled through the post and looking forward to more… Followed two of my early dreams: Teaching (started at age 50) and writing (published my first children’s book at age 47, while working on my BS in Education. Still following my dreams… Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Bette, and good for you! It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we set our minds to it, isn’t it? And you are a perfect example. So happy you’ve been living your dreams, and long may you continue to do so! And thanks for stopping by today! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jacquie! You know, I honestly thought that’s how my life would work out. I was SO wrong. Except for the cats. 😀 It was a big relief to finally get to the writing part. 😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So Happy Birthday (early). Also, my adoration has increased because of your topic today. My 95-yr-old grandmother said the exact same thing about finally getting on with writing a book she’d been wanting to write for 40 years: “It’s never too late to follow your dreams”. 💝

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It is interesting how all writers seem to have always written. I wrote poems and descriptive paragraphs from when I was 11 years old. At 17 I tried to write a novel and at 18 I kept a diary for my whole first year out of school. I also like my day job, Marcia [well most of the time anyhow], so I currently do both and it works okay. It is true you can achieve your dreams, it just takes more dedication and determination for some than others but everyone has to work hard. Writing is 10% talent and 90% hard work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, Robbie, and I applaud you for all you do! You are a multi-talented lady for sure! You do more than I can even imagine. It’s those who don’t even try that make me sad. How do they know what they might be able to do if they are too scared to give it a go? Hopefully, a few folks might recognize themselves when they read this post today, and might make that decision that could change their lives forever. That would make me very, very happy! Thanks for stopping by today, Robbie! It’s greatly appreciated! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Marcia. You are one hundred percent right. Follow your dreams. I started writing for my school paper, but didn’t do much with my writing until much later. I did a few community articles, but published my first book in 2016.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Michelle! Glad you enjoyed it. And it’s always great to hear from someone who decided to get back to something they’d put on hold for too long! I’m so glad you’ve done that, and wish you great success as you go forward. Thanks for stopping by today! I’m so pleased to be part of the SE family now, and am really looking forward to the weeks ahead. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Judi! I have my down days, like everyone, but once I can find something to laugh about, I’m able to push those aside most of the time. I’m glad you think the post was uplifting, and yep! There’s always a new goal or dream awaiting. If I can help a few folks here and there realize that they CAN go for it, then I feel like I’ve done something constructive. I like that feeling! 😀 Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you’ll enjoy my bi-monthly posts here. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, that’s GREAT, John. I’m so happy when I meet someone in my general age range who hasn’t let that stop them from going after what they want. That makes you a HERO in my book! (Well, not in one of my actual books, you understand, though that could always happen! 😀 ) Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope folks who have been deferring their dreams are paying attention! And thanks for stopping by today, too! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What an awesome first post to share, Marcia! I loved the upbeat message, which is so important for all of us to remember.

    I’m one of those who started writing early (grade school), and never stopped. Ever. I wrote my first novel at 15, and was submitting short stories to magazines in my early 20s—much too early to my skill level at the time.

    After about a year of rejections, I went back to writing novels, but didn’t bother submitting them. I still remember sitting at the Thanksgiving table with my family in 2011 and stating “I’m publishing a book in 2012. If a publisher isn’t interested, I’ll do it myself.” I was determined. Bought myself a domain name the next day and submitted my first manuscript in February 2012. Fortunately, it was was accepted, and I haven’t looked back since.

    I still have plenty of dreams to chase (an agent and publishing house), but there’s no going back for me at this point, only forward. Like you said, it’s never too late.

    Thanks for the awesome message. We’re so delighted to have you join Story Empire!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I figure just because you CAN wait until you’re 69 before chasing that dream doesn’t mean you HAVE TO. 😀 I’m so glad you got a much earlier start! There are plenty of days when I wish I had years and years of writing experience (or even a single writing class!) to draw on. But at this point, I’m learning as I go, and I intend to “go” until I forget what words are. (I can hear my husband going “As if.” to that line. 😀 )

      I love that you never let anyone deter you from going after what you wanted, and I especially love that you were only stymied by rejections for a year and then you got right back to it! Bravo! Keep on keepin’ on! That’s the way to do it!

      And thanks for the awesome welcome here at Story Empire. I’m truly pleased to be in such good company, and know I’m going to love being part of the family! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, and lots of truth there. I came into writing later in life, too. I dabbled when I had to learn how to operate the first word processor as part of my employment, but tractor paper and all that wasn’t for me. Also, creative endeavors were discouraged in my small town, at least for men. At a certain age, I just decided they were a bunch of dumbasses and did what I wanted anyway. So glad I did.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Jeanne, nice to see you here today. Having to answer in a new thread, because the Reply button seems to be gone, but your dream sounds a whole lot like mine! So glad you didn’t wait as long as I did to pursue it! And I wish you the very best of luck as you continue along your writing path. The quote is a great one, and we should probably all have t-shirts made so we don’t forget! 😀 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Well, I made the mistake of replying to a comment instead of making a new comment thread That’s what happens sometimes when using the cell phone, I guess – accidentally hitting the wrong button. Again, congrats on joining Story Empire, and I look forward to your posts 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It didn’t stop me a bit, Jeanne. Just hoping you wouldn’t think I’d ignored you! 🙂 And I’m so glad you’ll be checking out my posts here, too. I’m so pleased to be part of this great blog! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Today is a banner day for me–my first post on Story Empire! No, I will never start neglecting The Write Stuff, but I will always continue to share SE posts when they are focused on topics I think you guys will enjoy. (Or when they’re MINE, of course! 😀 ) Seriously, I do hope you’ll stop by and say hello today. And if you aren’t already following Story Empire, you might want to sign up to do so while there. Then, as always, I hope you’ll share today’s post with the Immediate World. THANKS, and thanks to all the folks at SE for welcoming me into the family! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Staci! I’m so happy to be here, and you are one of the reasons. I’ve already learned to be a better writer from working with you, and I appreciate that gift! Hopefully, I will do my very best to be a productive and positive member of the team, and am looking forward to posting again when my turn rolls around. Thanks again for inviting me, and I hope you’ll always be glad you did. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m very glad we invited you (all of us are), and we always will be. You’re already a productive and positive member of the team. And your kind words warmed my heart (and my cheeks; I’m certain I’m blushing). ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  9. You were born on St Patrick’s Day? How cool is that? Thanks for the encouragement, especially about starting to write later in life, which is my case. I do feel wiser and more disciplined than I did in my 20s, but I also feel like I have a lot of catching up to do!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Priscilla! Yep, I was a green baby! 😉 And I think it’s really nice of folks all over the place to celebrate my birthday with parades and Irish music and lots of green beer! 😀

      You are very welcome for the encouragement in the post, and I meant every, single word of it. Lots of us started later in life and are learning the ropes at a time when many folks are either settled into a life that doesn’t quite fit what they wanted, or are retiring and ready to just settle IN. (Into a rocking chair, perhaps.) I firmly believe it doesn’t have to be that way, even though it might take some gentle persuasion to convince us we can still pursue a dream. In my case, a kick in the backside and an order to quit whining about never having followed my dream finally set me straight. And I’m so glad I did.

      Having said that, I do understand the desire (and sometimes the need) to do some catching up. I don’t have decades in which to perfect my craft, so I have to learn as much as I can, as quickly as possible. But the important thing is to just DO it. And never stop learning (and trying) to do it better! If you are working on what you love and making a daily effort to get better and better at it, then I say HOORAY for you! You are already a winner, and who knows how many good things will be in store for you ahead?

      Thanks so much for stopping by today and taking a few minutes to chat. Sending you loads of support and encouragement along your journey! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Yvette! I’m in central Florida, just north of Orlando. Nice to meet another Floridian here. 🙂 I am so happy to be the newest member of the Story Empire family, and I hope you’ll enjoy my posts as time goes on. Some will be longer and more detailed and some will be quicker and easily digestible, but hopefully all will be worth checking out. I’ll do my best, for sure. And thanks again for welcoming me today! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Love, love, love this post! It didn’t take me quite as long as you to write my first book, but I also dreamed of being a writer from a young age. I like this quote by C. S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

    So happy to have you with us at Story Empire!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much, Joan! I’m glad you didn’t wait as long as some of us do before reaching for your goal, and better yet, attaining it! And I love the quote, too. It’s absolutely true, and so important to keep in mind we go through life. New goals and new dreams keep us young!

      I’m super happy to be part of the Story Empire family, and I thank you again for making me feel right at home. You guys rock! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 4 people

      • Great post, Marcia 😁 And yes, I have always loved to live out in the country where I could read and write at my leisure – and yes, with some cats 😸. I’m still reaching for my publishing dream . I do have a couple of books self-published, for which I am happy, but I would like to have more published and selling better. I also like and believe in that C.S. Lewis quote, too 😃

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Harmony! I’m truly happy to be here, and I appreciate the way all of you have welcomed me into the fold. That self-doubt is a killer! Sometimes literally. I’m so glad you finally followed your dream, though from my perspective, 40 is still on the young side, you know. 😉 The important thing is, you DID it! And now you are a published author, doing what you knew you were meant to do. Yay, you! 🙂 ❤ I’m looking forward to getting to know you better and better as time goes on! Thanks again for everything! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Does that mean you missed yesterday’s announcement post, Jaye? If so, you MUST check it out. Fireworks, dancing dogs, and everything! 😀 😀 😀 I’m so pleased to have been adopted into the Story Empire family, and am really looking forward to taking part here on a regular basis. Thanks so much for welcoming me to the fold! I’ve been a long-time follower, too, and already feel blessed to be part of the team. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oh, you MUST see all the lovely hoopla! Scroll up on this page until you come to a picture of a big fireworks display on the left side, right under the Likes button. Click on that link and you’ll see what I mean! Sorry you missed it yesterday, but it’s never too late to check it out! 😀 ❤

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