My Blog – My Passion for the Written Word

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I’ve spent my whole life in love with books and the written word. I learned to read at a very early age and by my early teenage years had begun collecting books, many of them antiquarian. My father used to parade people up to my bedroom to look at all the books I owned, all stacked neat and tidy in the wall-to-wall bookshelves he had built for me. As visitors left, I could hear him say, “And, he’s actually read them!” as if this was something almost beyond belief. Truth be told, I often felt like a cuckoo in a strange nest.

I was never academic; I talked too much and listened not enough, so the chance of going to university, or any form of higher education slipped past me without so much as a backward glance. It wasn’t a lack of brains, or intelligence, it was a lack of understanding of what education meant, and its value. My parent’s ambition for me was I simply not end up in a factory – any lowly job in an office would have been seen as a win.

And, that’s where I ended up at sixteen – a query clerk at McGraw Hill Publishing. Working among books and dealing with inquiries from academics. I loved walking the aisles of books in the warehouse – the smell, the feel, the promise within. It was intoxicating.

After a few years, I managed to get a job as a sales rep for another publishing company and thus I began a career from the bottom rung that would eventually take me to the heady heights of publisher, and later author. In many ways, I have had a blessed life. My education has come from living and breathing books and words for an entire lifetime. I have a unique relationship with the publishing world and books that’s indefinable in any academic sense. I have an intimate relationship with books, I ‘see’ how a book should be thematically structured, I ‘see’ what works on the page, I’m in harmony with the needs of readers.

As a ghostwriter, custom publisher, and publishing consultant I help authors bring their words to life, handling everything from the thematic conceptualization and structure of their book to ghostwriting the words, and from handling the design of the book to working with the printer.

At one point, a few years ago, many people thought e-readers might steal away the life of the printed book; not me, I always knew the power of the printed word, the power of the written word, would reign supreme and so it has. An indication of this is the fact that Friesens, my printer of choice and North America’s oldest and largest book printer, has never been busier in its 110-year history.

Books are back – big time, especially as a way to promote oneself and establish credibility. They offer a level of authority and integrity no other form of media can touch in terms of quality and longevity.

I am honoured to help creative people bring their words to life, to the page and to the people. In the coming months and years, this blog will explore all things to do with the written word, from as many strange angles as I can discover. Oh and sometimes, I may stray into other topics that inspire me to write or to rant!

30 Mistakes Presenters Make

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Following on from last week’s post, I thought it might be useful to review some of the things presenters do that make life difficult for them. Avoid doing any of the stuff below and you’ll be less likely to be nervous when it comes to your presentation or screw things up! It’s a short, sharp list – please feel free to contact me if you want to delve deeper!

  1. Not prepared
  2. Over prepared
  3. Read overheads
  4. Small fonts on overheads
  5. Cutsey clip art
  6. Cover too many subjects
  7. Not knowledgeable on subject
  8. Irrelevant material (little or no useful information)
  9. Go over the head of the audience
  10. Don’t tailor material to the audience
  11. No theme
  12. No objective
  13. No fun
  14. Don’t get to know the audience (before and during)
  15. Don’t develop trust and respect
  16. Don’t check the room
  17. Don’t check the equipment
  18. Don’t have back-up
  19. No visuals/confusing visuals
  20. Speaking in a monotone
  21. No movement
  22. Insufficient interactivity
  23. Tell irrelevant, unfunny or politically incorrect jokes
  24. Discuss sex, religion, politics
  25. No eye contact with audience
  26. Don’t smile
  27. Mumbling
  28. Don’t provide enough breaks
  29. No flip chart paper and pens (that work)
  30. Insufficient hand-outs

Don’t let this list scare you off making a presentation – it’s all common-sense and every mistake is easy to avoid. Better forewarned than forearmed.

Fear of Public Speaking

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Many people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are dying. Seriously! There have been surveys that have shown this weird fact. The thing is, of course, if it really came down to it and people really had to make the choice they would step up to the microphone every time. Jerry Seinfeld once commented on this and said that if it was true, it meant that people would rather be lying in the coffin at a funeral than giving the eulogy!

I used to do a lot of public speaking and was always a little nervous; which I think is a good thing. Often you will hear huge stars admit they have butterflies before taking the stage. It’s natural. In recent years, I have to admit my nervousness has got a little worse. So, recently I reviewed a public speaking course I created, and delivered, back in the day and came up with ten points to help me remember how to deal with this natural phenomenon.

  1. It’s not that important – most of the audience wouldn’t be as brave as you. Put the engagement and the situation into perspective. It’s not life-threatening, it’s just a speech or a presentation. Don’t make it more than it is.
  2. Don’t set your standards too high – just provide useful information. You don’t need to be a star – or the best speaker ever. You are there to provide valuable information; if you do that you will be well received.
  3. Keep it simple. Audiences can’t take complicated, unless perhaps you are delivering a lecture to PhD students! Don’t over complicate things – keep to a few key points and deliver them well. That’s a whole lot better than cramming 50 points into 30-minutes and confusing everyone!
  4. Know your stuff – prepare but not too much. One of the keys to making a confident presentation is to truly know what you are talking about and be passionate about it. If you are an expert on your topic, all you need do is create an order in which you will deliver your points and then talk to each one.
  5. Remember the reason you are speaking is not to get people to like you or approve of you (no one gets 100% approval). Too often, speakers make it all about themselves instead of the information being delivered.
  6. Give not get. Building on the previous point – if your focus is to give your audience value, rather than garner applause, you are more likely to be received well and be more relaxed in your delivery. The latter usually results in the speaker trying too hard.
  7. Be yourself – communicate as if you were chatting to people one-on-one. Don’t try to be a public speaker. No matter the number of people in the audience, talk to a couple of people preferably sitting in different parts of the room. Choose people who are making eye contact and nodding – they are interested in what you are saying so deliver to them. Bringing it down to a personal level takes away the fear.
  8. Share your own experiences with humour and humility. Making it personal, makes you human. People warm to people who open up and when they warm to you, your fear of speaking will disappear, you will become comfortable and start having fun with new friends.
  9. Don’t worry about mistakes – laugh them off, their natural – you’re human! Let’s be honest, you are going to make mistakes – get used to it. Before you take the stage, accept that things are not going to be perfect – that’s life.
  10. Remember your audience wants you to succeed. Unless you have a mortal enemy in the room, everyone in the audience wants you to do well. People want to get value for their time, and possibly money, so it is in their interest you do well. Give them a chance to give you a chance.

The big thing about fearing something is that it is often out of proportion to reality. Once you are a few minutes in to your presentation you will relax and heck you might even start enjoying it. And, that’s got to be better than lying in the coffin!

 

Living to 150 – It’s Possible on Paper

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I had a birthday recently and as you can see from my profile pictures, I’m no spring chicken (I wonder where that saying came from? Hmm, next post I may look into it) anyway, where was I? Ah, yes aging – it got me thinking about aging as a good topic to write about. A couple of happy Google hours later and I discovered a little about what gerontologists and scientists are working on that could change the way we age. Some of it’s akin to science fiction but much of the science is either available now, or soon will be.

The idiot’s guide to how bodies age now follows. Aging happens at the cellular level; our cells start to get clogged up with a bunch of debris that inhibits their ability to function. Basically they get ‘sticky’; then our DNA gets mutated, we lose stem cells and our body doesn’t work as effectively, or heal itself as well as it once did. Sort of scary!

What the new breed of gerontologists is saying, people like Dr. Aubrey de Grey, is that when we age we break down just like anything else, and therefore it’s an engineering problem and can be fixed. I like the sound of that!

Dr. de Grey is the principal of SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence), which means an integrated set of medical techniques designed to restore youthful molecular and cellular structure to aged tissues and organs. Please Google and YouTube this guy; he’s an unusual but brilliant character.

To try to sum up an intensely complicated subset of gerontology (biogerontology) in a few paragraphs is tough, but the basic story is that Dr. de Grey and his colleagues are predicting that we are just a few decades away from having anti-aging drugs on the market that will repair our bodies at the cellular level. He goes on to predict that living to 150 years of age, and being healthy, is a distinct scientific possibility.

Furthermore, and this is where it seems to enter the realm of science fiction, Dr. de Grey says that once we have people reaching a century and a half, the basic science will be in place to keep us alive for a thousand years, it’s just a matter of fine tuning. He likens it to the history of aviation; it took until 1903 for man to develop the first flying machine, but only another 66 years to conquer space and place someone on the moon. That’s the way science is, it takes a long time for fundamental discoveries to be made, but then refinements to these breakthroughs come at amazing speed.

So, if I can only hold on long enough I might become the oldest blogger on earth! Now, there’s a really scary thought.

The Joy of Camping – NOT

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As I promised in my introduction to this blog, my posts won’t necessarily always be about writing, or the written word, sometimes they might just be a bit of a rant. I was talking to someone the other day about camping. They were talking about it as if it was something mystical. Hmm.

I don’t get the whole camping thing; I wish I did, people including my own sons seem to really enjoy it, but at the end of the day why would I leave my comfortable home and stay in a tent? My idea of an exciting adventure is a five-star resort, a one-bedroom suite, a choice of international restaurants and preferably a spa. And it’s not because I’m advancing in years, I’ve always hated it, even in my teens when I went camping in Britain with friends. It wasn’t like it was wilderness camping either; we camped in farmer’s fields and walked to the pub every evening. Sure it was fun, the visits to the pub anyway, especially the time we got a vicious swan drunk on whisky-soaked bread to discourage it from attacking us every time we walked past its pond, but the sleeping in the tent bit? That was awful, and you can only take so much of my friend Steve’s flatulence and his habit of eating cold baked beans straight from the tin. No, the connection is not lost on me.

When I tell people that I don’t like camping they don’t believe me. “You haven’t really experienced it properly,” they will say. “It’s great, you should come with us,” as if their company will miraculously turn the ordeal into something spiritual. Campers are an evangelical bunch; they believe that everyone should experience the magical power of nature – commune with the earth.

So, this is the deal; you want me to leave my warm, dry, safe home, my Sealy Posturepedic, pillow-top mattress, my flush toilet, heaters for when it’s cold and air-conditioning for when it’s hot; oh yes, and let’s not forget solid walls that provide privacy?

Okay, what do I get in return? A 75-denier polyester wall for privacy (my grandmother had stockings thicker than that for goodness sake!). I also have the privilege of sharing my bedroom with a variety of bugs, some of which may well be carrying the West Nile virus. I get to sleep, or at least try to, on a foam mattress the thickness of my laptop. Oh, and when I need to empty my bladder in the middle of the night, I have to clamber out of my sleeping bag, find my shoes, locate a flashlight, do a Houdini act with the tent zipper and walk half-a-mile to the washroom block, or risk peeing on a raccoon, or worse, stumbling into a patch of poison ivy.

It’s then that people say I’m exaggerating, and that I could choose campsites that have washrooms with flushing toilets and hot and cold running water. Been there done that; have you seen some of the people you have to share those facilities with? I remember a campsite on Lake Cameron where I came face to face, or actually face to butt with a 350lb naked guy bending over to dry his feet. The image is burned into my brain, located in a folder titled “Camping – aargh!” It’s true; when camping people seem to lose all their inhibitions; late at night those polyester walls are no match for the mating prowess of one’s fellow travelers. The power of being at one with nature, I suppose.

But, sarcasm doesn’t work on avid campers; they just shake their heads and smile, in that patronizing way they have; it’s as if they’re talking to an atheist who is yet to realize that he will burn in hell for all eternity if he doesn’t see the light. It then becomes their mission to save me from myself and lead me toward the light (a hurricane lamp, I suppose).

Actually, I really like the outdoors. I’d love to hike the West Coast Trail, all 75 km, and 5-7 days of it. When I tell friends this they roll their eyes and remind me that there are no hotels along the trail. They think they have me cornered at this point but I have a plan; I plan to have a helicopter pick me up at the end of each day (I can dream, can’t I?); it will pluck me off the beach and transport me to the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa, where I will make good use of their many facilities. Every morning my helicopter will drop me back at the exact spot where it picked me up the previous evening, lest I get accused of doing anything less than the complete trail; after all I want the tee-shirt that proudly declares ‘I Survived the West Coast Trail’.

I tried RV’ing once, under the illusion that it might be a softer form of camping, but after two weeks touring northern Vancouver Island with friends, I came to the conclusion that it was just camping on wheels. Sure, I now had walls thicker than a butterfly’s wing, and an inside toilet that flushed, sort of, but even that was an illusion. I soon found out that my RV did not automatically connect to a septic system every time we arrived at an RV park. This discovery was quickly followed by the fact that I had to regularly empty the sewage tank at something called a sani-station. This was not my idea of jolly holiday fun. When the connection broke on the outflow pipe and I had to jerry-rig it with a tomato tin, I knew my relationship with any form of camping was coming to an end.

I suppose I shouldn’t tease my hiking and camping friends so much. I genuinely understand the attraction of getting back to nature, the fresh air, sleeping under the stars, escaping the urban warfare that epitomizes our normal lives.

But for me, I am more in tune with the American writer Dave Barry, who said, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.”

Meditation: Can you Spare the Time?

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Some nine months ago I started meditating; it came about as a result of taking an eight-week cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills training course. I’d never thought much about meditation – it was something monks sat around doing; all that chanting and stuff just wasn’t for me. Until, that is, it was. Let me explain. I agreed to take the CBT course to learn some skills to deal with stress and as part of the program we learned about mindfulness and meditation. At first, I was doubtful it could work for me – being mindful was not something that came naturally and the whole meditation thing seemed a little hokey. But, I’d committed to myself that I would have an open mind, attend every class, and complete the course. Out of everything I learned during those eight weeks, mindfulness and meditation were the two things that blew me away!

Who knew that most of the time we go through our days on auto-pilot, not actually being present in the moment? Our psychologist teacher said during one session, “The past no longer exists, the future is yet to exist, the only reality is the present [this moment]” – this blew me away.

Our brain is constantly reliving the past and fantasizing about the future. It spends little time on the here and now unless we take control. As a writer this was a revelation, after all clarity is important.

Mindfulness means living in the present moment; being aware, being focused on exactly what you are doing. As the Tibetan monk, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When you do the dishes, do the dishes.” By this he means don’t drift off into a dream world, or watch television, or do anything else, put all your concentration into experiencing doing the dishes. This resonated with me and I could see how it might help my writing.

I started to focus more when I was cooking and my cooking improved. I started driving mindfully and found myself less frustrated by traffic and other drivers. And, I started writing mindfully.

So, what about meditation? Meditation is about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ – it is not some religious duty or experience, it is simply a time when you still your mind and body. A time when you calm the incessant chattering of your mind and your inner voice and enter a state of thoughtful awareness. In essence, it is a state of not-doing.

In recent years, science has shown that meditating has many proven health benefits, and that may be the subject of a future post. For now, let’s focus on why it’s good for productivity.

People are always telling me they would love to meditate, but they have no time. My answer to them is the less time you have, the more you need to meditate. The most amazing revelation of my entire life is meditation not only reduces my stress and makes me feel a million times better about myself and my life, it actually frees up a bunch of time every day!

Okay, I realize that seems counter intuitive – I spend part of my day meditating and I end up with more time, how does that work?

Let me give you an example. Before I started meditating, if I had an article to write I’d do some research and formulate an approach to the topic. I’d then open a new document and start to write. The first half-dozen or so paragraphs would usually be unsatisfactory and I’d push them down the page a little and start over, and over, and over. At some point, I’d review all the rejected paragraphs and use the good bits to write something that worked. All the time, my mind would be racing around considering what else I needed to do, how close I was to deadline and a hundred other things.

So, then meditation came into my life. One day I had a feature article to write and I just couldn’t get my head around how it might work. I’d done some research, but I was suffering from writer’s block. I decided to meditate for twenty minutes. When I returned to the blank page, I started writing and didn’t stop until I’d written 2,000 words. I sat there amazed. I thought it must be garbage. However, when I read what I’d written it needed only minor edits. I’d written the whole article in one sitting in less than 3-hours! In the past, a complex article such as this might have taken me a whole day, or even two.

This wasn’t a fluke; nine-months of daily meditation and it works every time. The other day a client emailed me; she needed a 750-word blog post on a specific topic (one I knew little about) and she needed it within 24-hours. Having just returned from my meditation practice I sat at my computer and wrote the post in just 45-minutes.

Don’t underestimate the power of spending time every day to just ‘be’ and not ‘do’ – I spend at least 30-minutes a day meditating and my productivity and quality of writing has never been higher. Try it for yourself – you have nothing to lose, except that chattering, distracting inner voice!

The Power of the Written Word

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I love powerful, emotive words – words that make you think, words that stir up emotions in the reader. The power of the written word should never be underestimated, but it often is, especially in the business world where people carelessly, or maybe just thoughtlessly, throw any old words into their web copy, blog posts, or other promotional material.

My home page features the following quote because it holds a lot of meaning from me, and I have a desire to share not only its beautiful poetry, but also to underscore the sheer power and permanence of the written word. If anything can sum up the power of the written word it’s this.

The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

This comes from the book, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, which is a translation or perhaps more correctly an adaptation (by Edward Fitzgerald) of ninth century Persian poems written by Omar Khayyám. Interestingly, this gentleman was not only a poet but also a mathematician and astronomer.

His words have stood the test of time and have appeared in book titles by Agatha Christie and Stephen King; music by Woody Guthrie and many others, and been featured in dozens of movies and television shows.

I suppose the point of this post is to remind us that words can live on, long after we are gone – that is, if we are lucky and have the forethought to make them count.

I’ll leave you with the quatrain that follows on from the previous one.

“And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die, Lift not thy hands to it for help — for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.”

Thoughtful stuff. I wonder how many words written today will still be quoted some 900 years from now!

5 Pet Grammar Errors that Tick Me Off

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As a writer, I realize not everyone is an expert on grammar – heck, I often fall foul of grammatical rules in my enthusiasm to say something in a certain way, or to elicit a specific emotion in my reader. There are a few things people say and write however, that drive me crazy, so I thought I’d share them with you. Some are not actually grammar errors, they have over time become a North American cultural norm, but still they irk me!

  1. When someone says, “I could care less.” My question to them is, “Ah okay, how much less could you care?” What they really mean is, “I couldn’t care less.”
  2. People often say, “I wish I could get off of this mailing list.” While its usage has become fairly common, I find, “I wish I could get off this mailing list” less grating, and certainly more concise.
  3. Here is something one sees in newspapers, magazines and books all the time, “I said that there should be no flowers on the table” instead of, “I said there should be no flowers on the table.” I have to admit for the longest time I peppered my articles with superfluous “that’s” until a friend edited my work and removed dozens and dozens of them from a single article!
  4. Now, just to show this is all about my particular preferences, my next pet peeve is when a superfluous word is missed out. It has become common to say, “I wrote Mike to say he should stop worrying about how people say stuff” however,  my English upbringing makes me cringe. To me it should be, “I wrote to Mike …”
  5. Lastly, I really hate it when people incorrectly use the words, there, their, and they’re. Let’s look at them:
    • First the easy one; “they’re” means “they are.”
    • “Their” shows possession as in, “It was their table.”
    • And “there” is the opposite of “here” as in “Their table is over there.”

This is not a definitive list and as I say, they are not all grammar errors per se, but it does feel good to vent a little and get it off my chest (not off of my chest).

6 Reasons to Hire Someone to Write Your Blog Posts

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Before we begin, a disclaimer – I have a vested interest – I’m a ghostwriter and I ghostwrite blog posts. And books, and a whole bunch of other stuff – basically I write it and my client takes the credit, it’s that easy. But, please read on as I think I can make a good case for hiring a professional writer. It doesn’t have to be me – honest!

First, everyone thinks they’re a writer – hey it’s easy, isn’t it? Well yes, if you had a reasonably good education you can probably write as well as I can build a chair using the skills I learned in woodworking class when I was a teenager. But, is that enough to encourage people to read what you write and come back time and time again to your blog for more?

Second, even if you really are a great writer, do you have time to focus on writing instead of running your business, or handling other marketing responsibilities? If you have a blog, you have to keep up with it, but inevitably you get busy and weeks slip by and your blog begins to look forlorn and forgotten. At that point, it’s doing you more harm than good.

That’s where a professional ghostwriter can help. They do all the work and then fade into the background, while you take all the credit.

Why hire a professional writer?

  1. Ghostwriters save you time and make you look good. Can’t say fairer than that!
  2. Professional writers write engaging, interesting, accessible, well-researched and well-written posts.
  3. Outsourcing writing to an expert, guarantees your blog is current. Post regularly – consistency is important!
  4. A good ‘ghost’ will generate a list of relevant, interesting topics based on comprehensive research.
  5. Ghostwriters target posts correctly. Are you promoting, yourself, your company, your expertise, your product? Are you educating your potential market, or using entertaining, relevant posts simply to attract people to your website?
  6. Professional writers make your posts SEO-friendly and increase website traffic, and ultimately orders!

I can’t tell you how many blogs I come across that haven’t been touched in months, sometimes years. How do you think that makes the company look? The reason is, most owners, and even marketing departments are too busy to keep up with a serious blog. Do you do your own plumbing, wiring, window-cleaning, bookkeeping? No? Then why write your own blog posts?

Facing the Blank Page (Writer’s Block)

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If you’ve ever sat at your computer and stared at a blank page not knowing what to write – you’ve experienced writer’s block.

Gene Fowler, an American journalist, author and dramatist once said, “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Sometimes it does feel like that, but on other occasions it’s like honey flowing smoothly, organically from brain to page. I used to experience writer’s block a lot, but over the years I’ve managed to find ways to get over this blank-page syndrome.

  • First, don’t sweat it, it’s natural and you’re not the first writer to be afflicted with writer’s block and you won’t be the last.
  • If that blank is staring up at you and don’t know where to start, try going for a walk and clear your head. Often, it’s all the other stuff in our mind fighting for attention that’s causing the problem.
  • Start writing – anything, anything at all. Even if it’s total garbage just get some words down on the page, even if it’s, “This is stupid, what am I supposed to write …?”
  • Do a little research into what you are going to write about, even if you know everything about the topic. This helps widen your perspective. Narrow views are like perfection – they hamper creativity.
  • Start writing a paragraph or two, even if your thoughts are only half-formed. Keep moving the paragraphs down the page until you can’t think of anything else to write about the topic. Re-read what you’ve written and extract any good bits and move them to the top of the page. Delete the crap. Violà you’ve started!
  • Don’t judge your first draft – let it be awful. Once it’s done you can edit it, change it, slash and burn it. But, you’ll be working on words, not a blank page.
  • Don’t strive for perfection when writing – that’s what’s editing is for!
  • If you continually struggle with blank page syndrome, start journaling. Yes, keep a journal about anything; your life, your thoughts, your work, whatever. It doesn’t matter what you write, no one needs to read it. It will get you into the habit of writing. You’ll be surprised at how much this simple thing can help your writing.

The above list is a great start, however the single biggest thing that has helped my ability to beat the blank page is meditation. Before I get down to serious writing I meditate for between 10 and 30-minutes. When I first started doing this I couldn’t believe how much better my writing was, and how much clearer my thoughts were. I remember a client called me with a rush job just after I’d meditated, she needed a 700-word blog post on a topic with which I was not familiar. I did a quick bit of research and wrote the article in one sitting. It was 45-minutes, from the moment she called, to the time I delivered the article. She was amazed. So was I – this was one of the first times I experienced this phenomenon, but it’s not been the last!

So, don’t fret the blank page it’s not your enemy, it’s simply there waiting for your genius to encompass it.

Is Sixty the New Fifty?

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I looked in the mirror the other day and saw a mid-fifties guy in a mid-sixties body looking back at me. Mentally, we Boomers have just not accepted that we are getting older: as Walker Smith and Ann Clurman say in their book Generation Ageless “Boomers don’t intend to age; they want to be ageless”. What does this mean? From my perspective, and the view of many of the Boomers I have talked to recently, it indicates that although our bodies are starting to age, our approach to life isn’t. In their mid-sixties, our parents were retiring and looking forward to a well-earned rest; a time of slippers and fireside armchairs. Go back 200 years ago and life expectancy in North America was 35; life has changed and continues to change at an amazing pace.

Today we are embracing technology, looking for new challenges and starting new adventures. Rather than slowing down we are speeding up. We expect another 30 good years ahead of us, as long as we can afford the procedures and pharmaceuticals, and if not we’ll just get someone to push us around!

Back to my mirror and that youthful face staring back at me; I really don’t think I look anywhere near my age; I still have all my hair (well almost, don’t look too closely on top) and it’s distinguished not salt and pepper. I’m not overweight, although nudging the healthy normal expected by my doctor. As I’m vertically challenged I can’t hide surplus weight the way my giraffe-like friends can, and the few lines I have can definitely be put down to laughter not aging.

So, all in all not a bad report and it bodes well for the future if a team of researchers, led by Professor Kaare Christensen from the University of Southern Denmark, are to be believed. They report that people with youthful faces are likely to live longer than those that look older than their years.

The point of all this is that as I look around at those of my friends and acquaintances that classify as Boomers, most of them look younger than their age and many are still struggling to reach maturity if their behavior is anything to go by. So, perhaps 65 really is the new 55, and 70 is the new 60!