[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t 46½ I am officially feeling old. Of course I continue blithely scouring Top Shop for the latest fashion trends and watching Gilmore Girls on repeat, but we all know the truth: I’m much nearer 50 than 40 and the dreaded ‘M’ word is creeping ever closer.
You’ve heard ad infinitum about my midlife crisis; more specifically, whether I’m ‘too old for a leather jacket‘ (someone actually came across my blog after typing that into Google the other day *proud face*). In short, I have never taken myself too seriously where age is concerned. Until now.
My latest age crisis is in relation to this blog. You see I’m doing that thing again, where I question what someone my age has to offer, feeling increasingly insignificant and crowded out by the younger, cooler set who seem to be saturating the market.
Whilst part of me wants to jack it all in, another part of me is screaming ‘there’s room for everyone!’ in a very pre-menopausal fashion (that was the ‘M’ word in case you were still wondering).
Am I alone in this? Casual chats on social media confirm otherwise.
If you’re a blogger, writer, or creative of any kind and you’re in the 40+ age group, this one is for you. I want you to listen up and listen good ‘cos I will bet on my life that at some point over the last 6 months, you have questioned whether this whole creative world has room for you any more.
Reasons why we need to drown out the negative voices
The more I’ve thought about whether us oldies have a place here, the more I’ve realised that we are actually needed in the blogosphere *insert your own creative outlet* and here’s why…
WITH AGE COMES WISDOM
I’m not saying that younger people don’t have wisdom, in fact some have it in abundance, but they haven’t been here before.
I’m currently seeking out the 50+ bloggers because I want to glean as much information as possible from people who have already walked the path I’m about to go down. With that in mind, there must be readers out there who want to know what it’s like to be in your mid 40s, navigating all the highs and lows of bringing up teenagers and working out the best remedy for eye bags (answers in the comments below please).
Oh my goodness, what value there is in this statement. I don’t want to read blogs written by people who I cannot relate to. I want to experience that amazingly powerful ‘me too’ feeling when I read a blog written by someone who is in the same life stage as me. I LOVE it when people read my blog/social media musings and do the same.
I am an advertiser’s dream; I am completely swayed by influencers but I need them to be in MY age bracket. I want to see 40 or 50-something women rocking the latest fashion trend, telling my why I need to buy xxx beauty product or how I can navigate the latest crisis I’m having with my teenager.
I don’t want to see youthful, 20-somethings with glowing skin telling me that I just need to ‘go bare’, whilst looking all toned and amazing in their latest itsy bitsy bikini. It really does not help me to embrace the ageing process!
I want older people to show me that age does NOT define us and that once we hit 40, life is not over.
What do we do when the negative voices strike?
I often look at other people and assume that I’m the only one having an attack of the collywobbles. This my friends, is a big fat lie.
I think even the most confident amongst us, the ones who appear to be owning whatever life stage they’re in, will at some point fall prey to imposter syndrome.
So what do we do?
LOOK FOR THE LIKE-MINDED
I think this goes for any field you’re in, it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in what you do, understand what you’re doing and will inevitably cheer you on when you need it most.
If you’re a blogger and you’re struggling by yourself, find a small group of people who inspire you to do better, to keep going and who you can be honest with.
GET BACK TO YOUR ROOTS
I regularly question who I’m writing for and why. On a bad day, I draw a blank. On a good day, I think about why I started writing in the first place: to amuse and hopefully inspire others and because I just love to write.
I highly recommend sitting down with a pen and paper to do the same. Why did you start whatever it is you’re doing?
FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE
I am so thankful for my loyal readers who come back repeatedly; this is such a helpful reminder that there are people out there who appreciate my insights, recommendations and general nonsense.
We really would all do so much better by focusing on the people who do want to read our blogs rather than the people who don’t.
So this is me, calling out to anyone in the slightly older age bracket who is wondering what they have to offer the world…
Please don’t shrink back, we really do need to hear your voice!
Oh and I’m really preaching to myself here because I will undoubtedly revisit this again within the next 6 months.