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Turning the page again

Writing in notebook. Close-up.  

When I returned home after a heart transplant in January 2019, I had every intention of continuing to work. I was 70 and running a non-profit for educating less privileged students. But the going was getting harder with immunosuppressants and other medication to take through the day. I loved my work but realised my health was more important. Retirement was the only option.

My decision to retire after a 48-year-long career was unique. It was necessary to reinvent myself so idleness wouldn’t “kill” me. It rekindled my childhood ambition of becoming a writer. I had written before, but desultorily. I set up a schedule and wrote for four hours daily, enjoying every minute as ideas jostled in my head, seeking urgent expression. I began writing for national publications. In January 2020, I set my sights on publishing in international publications. After much struggle, a magazine bought my first article. Then followed rejections like soldiers advancing in a file.

Rejections troubled me. I felt dejected. I even considered quitting. But being a fighter, I introspected and realised I would have to learn how to write the content wanted by publications. The difference in cultures was unbridgeable.

The decision to write on health and help others understand disease took root. In October 2020, while COVID-19 raged, I enrolled for a certified course in health writing, working diligently on every assignment. I am taking baby steps, but feel delighted foreign magazines have published two more articles. Writing keeps me supremely happy. Daily, I learn new stuff and don’t feel lonely because writers, editors and readers make up my new community.

New beginnings are possible at any age; everything is from within us.

ceogiit@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:48:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/turning-the-page-again/article34513187.ece

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