Hi! I’m Martha Jette, former journalist, professional editor and five- (soon to be seven!) time author. Welcome to a new world of writing for those over 50 – a world where the mind can roam free and creativity reigns!
“There is a fountain of youth; it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defeated age.” - Sophia Loren
The National Center for Creative Aging states that creative expression for older folks is vital to their quality of life. It does not matter what your financial, physical, emotional or even cultural limitations might be, you can still be as creative as you wish. Research has shown that remaining creative throughout your senior years can not only keep your mind sharp, but also improve your overall health and give you new found interest in life. When you write, along with your mental facilities, you also engage your emotions and imagination – the very sparks reminiscent of your youth. As they bubble further and further to the surface of your conscious mind, your creativity will positively flow out of you and into the written word. In life, we all experience good and bad times, some that might even cripple us emotionally, mentally or physically in some way. The feeling of loss can be devastating, but you can use those experiences to write away the pain. The simple act of writing about one’s worries tends to greatly alleviate the personal emotional impact one feels inside, so let’s get it all out!
Writing also requires you to think in an orderly fashion as you create your story or article. In so doing, you will experience a greater sense of order in your own life, as well as a new found control over the world around you. You will find that you develop a greater sense of self-worth and you just might like the new person you see in the mirror. You might think that since you’re past your proverbial prime, that your brain no longer functions as well as it used to do. According to the latest research, this is simply not true. "Most notions about aging and the brain are based on folklore rather than fact," says Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, a director of research at the U.S. National Institute on Aging. A common tale we often hear is that as we age, we lose brain cells. Harvard neurobiologist Gerald Fischbach has proved this to be untrue as well. His research has shown that while the cells can become dormant or shrink, the brain maintains ore than enough neurons to keep it alert and active throughout one’s life.
Many famous authors did not even set pen to paper until their latter years. Penelope Fitzgerald began writing her first novel “Offshore” when she was 60 and at age 80, her book “The Blue Flower” won the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. It is only in the case of Alzheimer’s that one’s ability to think properly might be impeded. However, professor of Pathology and laboratory medicine Professor John Trojanowski, who is also co-director of the Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases School of Medicine, says Alzheimer’s is pathology rather than an aging disease. In other words, just as regular physical exercise is good for the body, using your brain regularly keeps it functioning properly. Writing truly is an art and one in which you put your heart, soul and time. The very process of writing takes your mind, at least temporarily, off yourself and onto the creation of your story. So set aside your aches and pains. Forget about those worries and make your great escape into a world of imagination. Lift your spirits and enter a new world where anything is possible!
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