How journaling helped B. Lynn Goodwin decide to marry at age 62

B. Lynn Goodwin used her journals as the foundation of her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. Well, I have to say I did the same when I started my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I had pages and pages of journal entries that I meticulously copied from my handwritten notebooks to computer Word files, and my book was off and running. For me, writing in my journals helped me heal after losing my son too suicide. For B. Lynn Goodwin, journal writing helped her to decide whether to jump into a marriage with a two-time widower at age 62. We both agree that journaling is like having a secret friend that we can trust with anything in our minds and hearts.

Here is B. Lynn Goodwin and her thoughts about the benefits of journaling for her.

Need a Venting Partner? Try a Journal
by B. Lynn Goodwin

When I was dating Richard, I had crazy thoughts running through my head. What did I know about love or commitment or becoming a wife? I didn’t even tell my friends about him at first. Instead I talked to my journal. It always listens and never interrupts.

I wrote about his life—his two wives who had passed away, his seven adult children, his electrical contracting business, Sunday’s spent pastoring a church . . . He was at ease on any subject, and he asked really good questions:

  • “This is going pretty well so far, don’t you think?”
  • “You reckon you’d like to drive up the coast together on Saturday?”
  • “Would you be willing to get married if you fall in love?”

He knew exactly what he wanted in a third wife and believed he could make me fall in love with him if I turned out to be the woman he was seeking.  At times I felt like I was interviewing for a job, but I also loved his attention. I realized that as I wrote about his direct questions in my journal. Writing them down, thinking as I wrote, and committing my thoughts to paper made everything so much clearer.

I already knew that journaling was a powerful tool for venting. I found that out when I was caring for my mother, who had undiagnosed Alzheimer’s. Sometimes I’d have to excuse myself, go into her bathroom, pull a small notebook out of my pocket, and write. Seeing my own words on paper, in clear and rational sentences, restored my sanity.

Sometimes you just need an ear. Journaling can provide that ear. Other times you need to write down things you don’t really mean—just to get them out of your system. Some days you may write down questions and answer them.

Journaling is safe. No one is ever going to read it, especially if you stash your .docx in a file marked “Insurance—2014” or bury your notebook at the bottom of an old backpack.

A common cry is “I don’t know how to start . . .” Some people start by responding to a question:

What are you worried about today?

I’m worried that Richard will feed Eddie McPuppers fast food while I’m at the writer’s conference this weekend.

Others respond by describing a sensory image:

February daylight reflects off the china base of the lamp that once lived on the drum table in the house where I was born.

Others finish a sentence start and keep going:

Today I want . . .

Today I want a 28-hour day so I can finish the book I have to read and get into the book I want to read.

See how you can continue from any of those first sentences? Your best friend is waiting.

My journals were the foundation of my memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. How does a 62-year-old woman who’s never been married find happiness with a two-time widower seeking his third wife on . . . Craigslist!? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Go to Amazon and read the opening for free here.

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing about your journaling. Hopefully you’ve motivated my Choices readers to pick up their pens or computers and get to know and love their secret friend.

Book Summary:

How does a 62-year-old woman who’s never been married find happiness with a two-time widower seeking his third wife on . . .Craigslist!? Does she throw caution to the wind and relinquish her freedom, or should she take a crash course in compromises?

Author B. Lynn Goodwin tells all and more in Never Too Late. How she was attracted to Richard’s clear expectations, his honesty, and his incredible openness. She’d never met anyone like him. Would she recognize love if it knocked on her heart? And could an educated woman be happy moving into a blue-collar world?

Whether you’ve been single forever, are trapped in an unhappy marriage, or you’re simply curious, you’ll find secrets to a happy marriage in Never Too Late.

Paperback: 222 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Koehler Books (December 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1633936082
ISBN-13: 978-1633936089
Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 is available for print and eBook at AmazonBarnes & Noble and IndieBound.

Praise for Never Too Late:

“A vivid, engaging, and heart-warming tribute to that rare and wonderful thing: a late-in-life
love.”  – Susan Wittig Albert, Ph.D, author of Loving Eleanor and The General’s Women.

“A book filled with grace and charm.” – Aline Soules, author of Meditation on Woman and Evening Sun.

“Very different from any love story you have ever read.” – Richard J. Smith, Ph.D., author of Life After Eighty, Once Upon A Christmas, and Musings of an Old Man.

“For those who think life has passed them by, take heart, and read B. Lynn Goodwin’s book, Never Too Late, an unflinchingly honest, personal tale of love found after 60.” – Kate Farrell, author and co-editor of award-winning anthologies: Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ’70s and Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence.

About the Author

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers(Tate Publishing) and Talent (Eternal Press). Talent was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

Her manuscript, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was published by Koehler Press on December 20, 2017. Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good, Purple and elsewhere. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is a manuscript coach at Writer Advice. She always has time to write guest blog posts and answer questions. She loves working one on one, trouble-shooting, and helping writers find what works.

Lynn Can Be Found Online At:



  1. What an excellent post and it’s incredible what journaling can do. It’s so therapeutic and healing and I appreciate the insight from you both about it!

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