I just returned from the Arkansas Writers Conference sponsored by the Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (of which I'm proud to be a new member). The keynote speaker was Charles W. Sasser, author of 50 books and thousands of magazine stories/articles. He's lived at least a dozen lifetimes in his 70 years. During his final speech, he told us that in order to be a writer, one must live life to its fullest. Can I get an 'amen' to that?
For 60 years, I lived life to its emptiest. I thought survival was sufficient. Then I wised up. The revelation hasn't come without a price, but I wouldn't go back. A public blog is not the place to share one's private epiphany. but I felt Mr. Sasser's advice was worth sharing, especially with you younger writers out there who can salvage more of life and gain more years than I can.
I don't think living life to its fullest means 'letting it all hang out', or 'if it feels good, do it'. There's the personal responsibility thing. Years ago, an older friend whom I loved very much and for whose own empty life I ached, shared this quote with me: For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.
Here's a more recent quote found on Facebook:
In the end, we only regret the chances didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make. (attributed to www.livelifehappy.com)
And yet another:
Chances, Choices, Changes: You must make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change. (attributed to facebook.com/followyourdreamstoachieve)
Once I was young and full of dreams, and life was out there waiting for me. It's not too late for me to find it--and I'm off on the quest. Will you come along with me?