What’s next to write?

Now that my novel is going through a final professional edit and hopefully getting ready to shop around. I’ve been thinking about what’s next for my writing life.

For a long time, I’ve thought that there isn’t another book in me, but now I’m not so sure.

Could I write another memoir? I’m at that stage in my life when I have almost all of it to look back on, so I could write a memoir from an old wise woman’s approach to turning eighty. I could write about the secrets of staying married to the same man for over forty-eight years and living in the same house for thirty-nine years. Really where have all those years gone? And really that brings up another big question – how much time do my husband and I have left anyway, and what are we doing to prepare for our last years? Or better yet, how we’re handling our lives right now as we age – at different paces. Yes, another memoir or even two are a real possibility. The options are endless: how we’re still working at surviving the loss of our son in 1999, what we eat, how we sleep, my health and exercise program, about our travels, what do two people at our age do all day.

Or could I write another novel? I’ve left a lot of room for a sequel at the end of my first novel. It might be fun to revisit my characters again and see how they’ve all continued to change. Once you read it, you’ll know what I mean.

Papa’s Shoes (working title)

Or should I just concentrate on my poetry – my favorite genre of all. I still believe there’s always a poem out there, something I learned a long time ago from one of my writing instructors, Jack Grapes. And even now, I continue to respond to the poetry prompts I receive every Wednesday – or every day in April and November – from the Writer’s Digest poetry editor, Robert Lee Brewer. Some of these are silly, but fun poems to write, though not many are serious enough to submit for publication.

Writer friends: what do you think? What are you doing with your writing lives now? I’ll bet you’re like me – not ready to take your ass out of the chair just yet.



  1. Shitfahr! I relate to this “what’s next” dilemma, but you are a much braver writer than I am.

  2. After a few years of dabbling with this and that, fiction and non, I’m finally working on a second memoir. A surprise to me!

    • Madeline Sharples says

      That’s the way I’m feeling. That I’m even thinking of writing another book is a big surprise to me too.
      Thanks for your comment, Linda.

  3. Seems as though we are at similar crossroads. I will be 88 in October and I am no way ready to lay down the pen ( computer to be exact) I’m halfway through my 3rd book and beginning to think about a 4th. I just hope I live that long.

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Me too. I hope I live long enough too. But if we die at our computer desk, that won’t be so bad. Good luck with your 3rd and 4th books. Keep writing.

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