Who You Might Have Been?

One of the results of being published is that other women writers and would-be writers are now reaching out to me to tell me their story. Dreams of always wanting to be a writer. Stories of manuscripts hidden away in the bottom desk drawer or under the bed. It is as if seeing my dream come true has given them to voice to express their own. Perhaps to even, finally, take that dream into their own hands and make it come true.

Now, I can appreciate this dream in a way that I never would have in my twenties or thirties. Maybe even my forties. English novelist George Eliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” My babies are raised, I have succeeded at a variety of careers, and it is now time to reach beyond a career and succeed at a dream.

How about you? Have you got the Great American Novel stored on your hard drive (or under your bed in a box!)? Do you have a great collection of recipes that would make a wonderful recipe book? Have you led a fascinating life that would make a great memoir? Do you have a beautiful collection of short stories or poems? I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, what are you waiting for?

We always hear about how we might reinvent our life, particularly as we age and realize the life we are living isn’t quite the life we had always imagined.  For the writer or the poet who is published relatively late in life, it is more of a matter of awakening. A matter of stepping out of the dark cloak of obscurity and boldly stepping into the light of the world to claim your birthright as a weaver of words.  Shed that cloak. It is time to shine.

Cheryl Shireman is the bestselling author of several novels, including Broken Resolutions, the Life is But a Dream series, and the Cooper Moon series. She is also the author of ten books for toddlers including the eight Let’s Learn About series focusing on different animals and I Love You When: For Girls and I Love You When: For Boys.

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