Getting started: better late than never – Welcome Guest Rosalie Spielman

Welcome Rosalie! I was so happy to finally get to meet you at Malice this year!

Rosalie: I turned 49 recently. I’ve seen a few times in the last couple months videos of people saying “did you know we are closer to 2070 than 1970” and their reactions are right in line with my own. My count down these days, instead of being when I can strut into a bar or sit behind a steering wheel, is how long until we can move into one of those 55+ communities?

Have you realized kids today don’t know what a dial tone is?

Several months ago, an old friend/fellow mil spouse contacted me about sharing photos of my creative space. Leslie’s an amazing artist and has her own studio now. I shared photos with her and on Leslie’s Instagram story, I recognized other military wives. That’s when it occurred to me: we were all women over forty. I also have a friend from high school made her love of sewing into a life’s calling and started a clothing business. Another military spouse owns a quilt store. And another started medical school at thirty-five and is now a PA.

So, why were we all making changes in career and goals, older? Why did we all wait? It’s not that our nests were empty—all of these friends and myself had kids at home still.

I was a military spouse for 24 years. For military spouses, unless you are in a portable field, like nursing or teaching, it’s hard to maintain a career with normal progression due to all the moves. But then our service member retires and we are finally allowed to stay in one spot. Starting a career that late is possible, but difficult. But I don’t think it is that.

Fear of impending death can be a motivator. But I don’t think it’s that either. I mean, I come from good Swiss stock. I’ve got a good fifty years to go. Maybe sixty, if I hydrate better.

Sudden growth in confidence? Mmm, no. I will be the first to admit that writing can be a soul-crushing confidence destroyer. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel some serious imposter syndrome.

My husband, a golfer, said “You miss 100 percent of the putts you don’t take.” I think he paraphrased that from somewhere, but regardless, I saw his point. Getting a book published isn’t just about the great dialogue that magically comes to you in the shower, or knowing how to spell “Punxsutawney,” but starting. I was certainly never going to get published if I didn’t try. Thinking about it, or wishing, or dreaming, wasn’t going to make it happen. Maybe that’s what my friends realized as well.

And so, I started. And in the hard times, when self-doubt raised its stupid head, the thing that kept me going was my absolute favorite quote in my Big Book of Motivation, where I stick memes, quotes, and pictures. My favorite quote isn’t Winston Churchill or Carrie Fisher, but rather, my daughter. She snuck in a little message for me to find later, in her little fifth grade scrawl atop one of the pictures:

“I love you mom, keep trying!”

“I love you mom, keep trying!”

So, there it is. I did what she encouraged me to do. There is a powerful motivation in wanting to show your children that you can achieve if you try. So that is why I kept trying—and perhaps why I started in the first place.

Readers: What is the thing your self-doubt says you can’t do? And what are you waiting for?

Bio: Rosalie Spielman is a mother, veteran, and retired military spouse. She was thrilled to discover that she could make other people laugh with her writing and finds joy in giving people a humorous escape from the real world. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and four creatures—two teens and two fur babies. For more information on her books or to subscribe to her newsletter, go to

Welcome Home to Murder, the first in the Hometown Mysteries series, was released in June. Death on a Cliff, Rosalie’s second contribution to the multi-author Aloha Lagoon series, will be released on 9 August. You can find order and preorder links via her Amazon author page or website.

Amazon profile link:

26 Thoughts

  1. Excellent inspiration, Rosalie! When self-doubt comes knocking, I send my trusty response to answer the door. “A human has already done it, I’m a human, therefore I can, too!” As self-doubt runs away, tail tucked between spindly legs, I shout my favorite ten two-letter words, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” That surefire combo rearranges my tail feathers, never failing to nudge me past high-center!

  2. Guess that falls right in to my motto – Keep moving forward or die trying. I found that looking back is good for prospective to see how far you might have come or to learn from you mistakes, but you can’t live in the past. You live in the present and dream and work to achieve for the future.

    Hubby was the first to love photography. I always felt it was too technical and was content to use a point and shoot camera. Getting frustrated with blurry photos and with hubby’s constant “You can do this honey” attitude got me to try. Each step forward I make shows me that there’s more to learn. That’s ok because I’m happy knowing I’m moving forward and I’m trying.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Absolutely, Kay. There is always more to learn, and it should be a reason to keep trying, not to give up. It took me a lot of years to figure that out! Enjoy your photography!

  3. Welcome to the blog, Rosalie, and good for you for following your passion. My first mystery came out ten years ago one month before I turned 60. It’s never too late.

    I live with a glass-mostly-empty kind of guy. When I began writing seriously, he said in a dire tone, “You know, it’s really hard to get published.” “Somebody’s going to be published, and it might as well be me,” was my response. Today? 27 books in print and going strong writing #33!

    1. Thank you, Edith, I am thrilled to be invited! That is awesome, congrats on your 27 books! That’s impressive. I’m so glad–and I’m sure all your other readers are too–that you didn’t listen to Mr. Glass-mostly-empty!

    1. Thank you for inviting me, Sherry! And yes…I like to say, paraphrasing Darth Vader: “The Imposter Syndrome is strong with this one.”

  4. Love the note from your daughter. My “little girl”, who is now 52, used to find ways to encourage me in my many tries at things. At 71, I”m no longer challenging myself to too many new things, but when something comes along, I’m always willing to give it try. And, if I fail, so what? I had fun trying.

  5. Great note from your daughter! I bet the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in your family, Rosalie 🙂
    I think that confidence can come with age, so starting up something while approaching our milestone birthdays of 40, 50, 60, etc. kind of makes sense. The more water under the bridge, the more innately we know that we can make it to the other side, no matter how rough the ride might be…

    1. Thank you, Amanda! I agree. It’s sad it takes us so long to figure things out, but it does come through trial and error.

  6. I’m taking my first solo vacation next week. As a single, it’s always been something I was intimidated by. Okay, I also didn’t have a ton of money for travel. Granted, it’s a cruise, so it’s not like I’m completely on my own. And I’ve got a trip to Europe in the works for September. We’ll see if that winds up being solo or not. Another cruise, but still.

    1. Hi Mark, that’s exciting! Enjoy your cruise, it should be fun! I never minded solo travel as you can do what you want, when you want. And on a cruise…eat what you want, when you want!

  7. Hi Rosalie, so good to see you here.

    Perhaps it’s because as we get older we get clearer on our path and we’re past letting someone else’s opinion count more than ours? I’m not sure. For me it was time to finally follow through on what I hoped I knew about myself. If you ask my college roommate, she’ll tell you the fastest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t!

    1. Hi Cait! Good to “see” you too!
      That’s a very valid theory. I like it. And yes, I see that with my kids as well. Or more like, “do this” and they do the opposite. lol!

  8. Wonderful post, Rose! That little note made me tear up. Indeed, it’s a wonderful motivation and played into my late blooming career, as well.

    1. Hello my friend! Isn’t it cute?! And I had no idea that she had done it. When I asked her, it had been so long she couldn’t remember when she did it. lol!

  9. When I was studying for the bar, one of my instructors mentioned in class the late-night TV commercials for attorneys who handle car-accident claims. “If they can pass the bar, so can you!” 🙂 So happy for you, Rose!

    1. Hi Barb! Thank you, and that’s pretty funny. And true!
      And it looks like your comment didn’t disappear. 😉

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