Allegra bennett’s blog

Peyton Jones is  a talented young lady with a bright future.

The Artist

MY STORY 

Growing up, my immigrant parents ambitiously targeted me to be a doctor. I lazily settled on being a nurse. Eventually my high school science grades put the lie to any career for me in medicine. Ultimately, I followed my dream to be a writer. I started off my writing career as a newspaper journalist. I won recognition and many awards for my work. I loved it. But being pragmatic I decided not to get too comfortable. I thought about the future. As I approached the age of workplace redundancy – that stage when gray hair and old age become the universal symbols for delete – I struck out on my own as a freelance writer, editor and publisher for hire.

Raised to share my toys, I always enjoyed sharing how-to tips about what I know – home improvement, writing, publishing, health. If it can be of help to someone else, I share it. You know people like me; you’re probably just like me.  I am always quick to say “yes” to an invitation to talk to individuals and groups about writing and publishing. But let me just say that earlier this year my altruism hit a thick, brick wall. I got mad as hell and decided I wouldn’t take it anymore.

THE INCIDENT

It was a phone call – an invitation to speak and do a workshop on what I know about self-publishing. “Yes” is always poised between my teeth so I let it escape in a short stream of consciousness before I asked the key question: “How much are you paying?” Sometimes, I would ask “Is there an honorarium?” I put it that way to make others feel comfortable and send a signal that I don’t ask for much. The caller responded “We don’t have any money. We’re a non-profit.” I was no stranger to that response. I had heard it before… and still accepted invites. But this time was different. The caller had a “you should expect to give away your value for nothing because I’m hiding behind the words nonprofit” tone. When I got off the call I was irritated and angry. Fortunately, I paused and asked myself:  “Where is the blessing in this? Where’s the silver-lining.”  I went to bed and slept on it.

Things were so much better the next morning. I had an answer. I awoke knowing I could continue to share but I would do so in a book. And that, my friends, is how my latest book 12 Steps to Self-Publishing Success was conceived.

If you have been toying with the idea of writing your life story, sharing your unique knowledge, or penning a salacious 3-part novella using a pseudonym, get busy. Turn those ideas into a book that pays.

Baby Boomers Rule!

Here I am, another silver-haired writer on the web. This day I am giddy with excitement over the possibilities of sharing my writing, editing, and publishing tips I’ve accumulated over 30 years of experience. Ha!

I created this blog to kick off a dialog among people who love to read books, have stories to tell, and to develop a supportive community of writers who have a voice or are trying to find their unique expression. I am building the community to be a salon you will want to visit to keep your writing appetite satisfied. As this space grows, I am confident we will get each other excited about our thinking and writing and be just the energy we need to do what writers do – communicate, write, and publish. I look forward to seeing what becomes of it.

At the beginning of this year I didn’t have a clue I would have written another how-to book and have a website up and running. I sure didn’t know I would publish the book and build the website myself!!  Four months later I did  because I paused long enough to examine where the blessing was in a series of financial dark clouds that were in a steady drift over my head.

While I am not new to publishing, when it comes to designing, launching and maintaining a website I am a babe in the woods. Who I am is a writer woman with attitude, curiosity, and a head full of silver wisdom highlights who is not supposed to be interested or capable “at my age” of mastering the tech toys invented by our cheeky children and barely-out-of-their teens grand kids. But I am capable and it took facing down challenges to demonstrate that.

We Boomers may be on the close approach to our last exit but we’ll not go quietly into the dirt without burning rubber above ground and changing lanes without making signals. Every generation behind us will know we were here. That is our legacy as a group.

What fuels a woman of my saging generation is the age-old knowledge and proven adage “A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s got to do.” Harriett Tubman did it. Grandma Moses did it. Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan did it. And, this gal did. On to next.

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