When I was a young girl, I wanted to grow up to be a great scientist like Madame Curie or to be a writer that would write a book that would change the world. High aspirations were part of my shy, secret inner world. When I grew up, those aspirations were not achieved. I did become a psychologist, but not a scientific researcher. I did write scholarly journal articles, but not a world-changing book. All of that is okay because what interests me most now is how we express ourselves as we age.
For me, writing can be a significant way to express yourself. It doesn’t mean writing a scholarly article or an engrossing novel. Writing can be a private memoir or a blog about your interests. It can be private or reach out to a larger audience. It does require stepping out of your comfort zone, but why not?
I am curious about why writers choose to express themselves through writing. An interesting hypothesis is about creating community greater than ourselves. “Writing links writer to reader, reader to writer, and reader to reader in a marvelous way,” observed Melannie Svoboda in America and mentioned in Why Do Writers Write?
Addressing people at an Expressive Age (50 to 75), Robert Laura reminds us that
“There are many benefits to writing including the ability to express yourself, share knowledge and experience, as well as to influence or support others.”
Of course, not everyone is drawn to writing as a form of self-expression, despite the many memoir and jounaling workshops now being offered. If writing calls to you, I recommend the quick, inspiring read Writing in Retirement: A Simple Formula to get Started.