Changing Careers After 50

Me, on the beach, 55 years old, learning new things every day.

If you have been here a while you know I posted regularly from 2012 to 2015. Then I pretty much went dark. I was involved in other things, though I missed writing and it disturbed me that I wasn’t. But, my wise mother the painter, told me not to worry, I would get back to it. She has spent years away from her easel and always returns.

When the project I spearheaded wrapped up in October( click here to check it out; I’m proud of it) I knew it was time to return to writing, and it’s how I wanted to make my living. It was a big, scary decision.

I started studying how to start a freelance writing business. I learned a lot from Jorden Roper. I like her badass brand, focus, instructions on niching down, and cold emailing. I’m also grateful to Elna Cain.  She has a broad perspective and is exceptionally generous with her knowledge. Their material led me to SOOOOOO many tools and options I was in a state of overwhelm. Not their fault, they both have great programs I highly recommend. But, I’d been away from technology for a long time and didn’t know much when I was writing VSVEVG before. I am blown away by the resources available for entrepreneurs online. Most all have free options!

I had to learn to build a website and negotiate many new things, there was more than one day of weeping on my laptop. At 55, I felt like maybe it was just too much to learn, maybe my synapsis would never snap fast enough. But, that was bullshit. Every day it all gets a little clearer, and it’s fun! It feels great to learn like this again.

Some of the new tools in my belt:

I use lofi girl for my focus music. Maybe focus music doesn’t seem that important, but it has helped my ability to work solo immensely. I’ve never been able to listen to music while I write, and have always had a hard time focusing. But, Lofi works for me. I don’t notice every shiny thing nearly as much.

I use Grammarly. I debated whether it was cheating as a writer. I asked the google gods and mostly got a positive response unless you are a fiction writer, or in some people’s minds a ¨real writer¨. But, since I wasn’t concerned about whether anyone thought I was real or not, I went for it. It’s great, it has cut down on my editing time and I’m reminded of ¨the rules¨ I tend to ignore, sometimes they’re better.

Also: this is so freaking cool. Ask the Public. If you have any interest in how people look at the internet this is fascinating. I used it to create an SEO-optimized (yes, I say things like that now) title for this post. It’s not as catchy, as my titles usually are, but hopefully will reach more readers. There are many keyword search tools, but I like the way this one is organized. It’s more visually appealing and has a lot to offer for free, 3 searches a day, youtube tutorials, and free SEO classes via email.

Canva is a user-friendly design tool. I used it for my new business logo. Whadda ya think?

Deciding to post on vsvevg every day in February is a part of the process of building my freelance writing business. I flex my writing muscles, meet deadlines. It feels great, even when I woke up this morning with no idea what to write about. Of, course I didn’t plan the 28 articles I would need in advance. Kind of like when I did Napowritmo, but these posts have to make sense.

What cool tech tools do you use? Have you ever been away from something for a long time, returned, and had to do a lot of catch-up? What was your journey like? You know I love hearing from you.

I have a request for my friends reading from Facebook.  Please hit the follow button if you haven’t already, it would be really helpful, thank you in advance. Likes help too!

Hasta Mañana!

Conclusions

My Morning Walk

Recently, I read an article about interpreting poetry. The author scrutinized and explained a poem line by line. I felt like was in 7th grade biology, a poor little frog, dead and spread eagled with pins before me.  I thought, do people really do this? I prayed, please don’t tell me this is how poetry is taught. If so, it’s no wonder so few people read and honor it.

There’s a lot of poetry that isn’t immediately accessible, but during this last year I learned, by walking with poems, that the body will teach you. Thinking will not gift you a great understanding of poetry, the language is not a dead thing to be dissected. Reading and then going for a walk, letting the words roll around, saying them loud, imbuing them with breathe — gives them life. Then let yourself be distracted by the trees, or a fly or your life for a while, the poem will settle and you will not understand, you will know it, in the way that you should, not the way someone else thinks you should. I don’t think there was ever a poet who hoped their poem meant only one thing to all people.

It wasn’t coincidental that I choose to walk to memorize, the literary tradition of walking is long and well acquainted with poets. I was vaguely aware of this, but I didn’t start walking and memorizing because of it. It was a natural inclination .

When I went for my first couple of walks after my project was completed, I felt liberated. I didn’t have anything I had to do —just walk, enjoy the scenery, and let my mind ramble. But then I started to feel a little naked heading out on the path without a poem in my pocket. So I wrote one down, and I’m carrying it around, living with it and it with me, as I imagine I will, as long as I can write and walk.

I took on the project to memorize and recite 52 in a year , because somewhere along the line I got it in my head that a “real” poet “knows” poems. A real poet reads poetry — A LOT of poetry. I wasn’t doing either. I was writing poems, but my commitment was facile.

I was correct in my assumptions about memorizing and reading.  I am not the novice I was a year ago. I don’t know that my own poetry has seen the benefits yet, but I now know where to go, and how to get there.

I hope you all had as much fun as I did 🙂

 

These were my favorites.

Saint Francis and the Sow, by Galway Kinnell

The Envoy, by Jane Hirschfield

Happy Ideas, by Mary Szybist

Often I Imagine the Earth, by Dan Gerber

Let Us Gather In a Flourishing Way, by Juan Felipe Herrera

 

 

Still Possible…

Wild Flowers Wallpaper
Recently, I had a dream, the climactic moment looked a lot like this.
I wasn’t surprised when I woke and thought about it, because I had been memorizing Wildpeace, by Yehuda Amichia.
It is the last poem in my series, Where I Live: a Devotion to Poetry.
Again, I thank you all for listening and supporting me in my endeavor. I’ll post my conclusions soon, but it’s been a monumental experience for me and deserves some time for rumnination.

I Did It! (With A Lot Of Help From My Friends)

Broadcasting from the New HolandBroadcasting from the New Holland

Well, I did it, I managed to memorize, recite and post 52 poems this year. I could not have done it without your support and interest. Really. I’m a basically lazy person, I would have given up. So many, many thanks my friends.

As you can see I’m in my remote locale, so I want to get this out before the signal fails, Im just going to give you the link to my Ytube page, if you want to view the last three poems now(Opportunity, by Robert winner, To the New Year by M.S. Merwin and Wildpeace by Yehuda Amichia), or you can wait until next week when I will post them here individually.

My Ytube channel.

Felipe and I wish you all a very Happy New Year from the Peidra Rahada! Peace, Peace, Peace, 🙂