I wanted to be a professional tennis player. Most kids I competed against started at four or five. They stood at the service line while their dads tossed balls from a grocery store cart. At 10, I got a late start. By 13, I had my eye on Wimbledon and knew that to get there I’d have to train hard. I played every day after school. I hit 300 forehands and 300 backhands against a wall. I jumped rope. I got pretty good, but never made it to Wimbledon.
Fifteen years ago, I got serious about writing. At 35, I got a late start. But now at 50, I have my eye on becoming a great writer like Anne Lamott, who’s written seven novels and 11 works of nonfiction. I approach writing the way I approached tennis. I read, take classes, write and rewrite, and submit to publications. I practice every day. I know that to get great at this, I need years and years of training. But what if I don’t have years left to train? My body is way past its prime. What if my brain is too? (READ FULL ESSAY HERE…)