person using black typewriter

The progression from studying Journalism in college, to writing for The Southwest Journal in Minneapolis, MN, to the realization that I did not want to be a journalist, left me feeling like a woman without a country. I wanted to write but I struggled with the strict confines of the press. So I abandoned my love of words for many years.

But retirement is a marvelous thing. It has allowed me time to revisit the craft that I so mindlessly threw away. In the past three years I’ve finished two novels and a memoir. I’ve written over 400 blog posts, dozens of poems, and a short stories. I’ve been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and the online magazine, Sixty and Me, where I shared the humor and wisdom that comes from a lifetime of learning from my mistakes. (Mistakes, by the way, fall under the label of Continuing Education!)

Writing for the sheer love of writing is rewarding on many levels. But the unexpected gift of writing memoir is the opportunity to examine the stories I’ve always told myself about my life. Something happens between the brain and the page, and what I thought was the truth takes on different dimensions as it sits staring back at me in black and white. It’s a strange phenomenon that creates space for imagining a new reality. It doesn’t change the past, but it can, and does, change my perception of it, and that’s unsettling at first. Then it becomes exciting. It’s an opportunity to reincarnate as exactly what or who I want to be. And this isn’t dishonest. It’s not cheating. It’s a glorious liberation that settles me squarely in my truth. I am grateful beyond measure to have experienced that gift in this lifetime.

Sherry Bronson

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