754. Dyslexic 70-Year-Old Pens Bestselling Novel
Paulette Gaines Wood
“Yes, it was scary, but I will tell you this: we self-published through Amazon’s Create Space, and the day UPS showed up with that package and I opened that little envelope and here was a book with my name on the front cover, that was a super exciting and wonderful moment! I actually did it!”
Paulette Gaines Wood has been known as a teller of stories all her life. She was seventy when she had her “now or never” moment and, despite being dyslexic, decided to write and publish her first book. “The Noble Anthony and His Lady Cleopatra” became a #1 International Best Seller on Amazon. With the completion of her second book, “The Noble Anthony and His Lady Cleopatra Return Home,” she reminds people that it is never too late to follow your dreams and experience the joy and excitement that comes from it.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I had a wonderful high school English teacher, Marion Ross, whose career had been in the publishing industry. Besides making editing suggestions for the stories I wrote, she often commented on the ideas and characters I created. One day she said, “You know, I can’t make any promises, but I think you might have a true talent for writing.” So, at the ripe age of 17, I was blessed by the encouragement of a gifted teacher. In my yearbook quote in answer to the question: What do you want to do with your life? I answered: Win a Nobel Prize for literature!”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“As I’ve shared, I had had good feedback and encouragement about my writing skills from the time I was 17. Throughout my career as a teacher and in various roles in the business world, the ideas for stories and characters were always smoldering inside of me—yet I never acted on them. Then literally on my 70th birthday something told me that this was my ‘now or never moment.’ I realized I did not have the slightest idea how much time I had left. I could step in front of a bus tomorrow. But regardless, I am going to take a chance on myself, believe I actually have something interesting to say to more than family and friends, and so, I did it!”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
- Have confidence in your own talents.
My stepmother, a teacher, was highly critical of my earliest writings, but I persisted.
- Be open to mentors.
At 17 years old, my English teacher saw my budding talent as a storyteller and writer and encouraged me to continue honing my nascent skills.
- Realize you have many talents.
During the many decades I did not focus on my writing talents, I capitalized on my innate organization and people skills to land good jobs at companies like McDonald’s, where I did very well as a manager.
- Know that you can overcome adversity.
I am dyslexic, and have had to work especially hard all my life to learn to compensate for this condition, especially as a writer.
- Understand that it’s never too late to use your talents.
My story is living proof, and I have only just begun.
Steps to Success from Paulette Gaines Wood
“Just start doing it! If you are a quilter, start making quilts—maybe you can sell them at craft fairs, maybe you have the talent to teach other people how to do it. I worked with a young lady once who was a wonderful seamstress. She made all the clothes for her baby and sweaters for her husband. Then she went on to write a sewing book that did very well. We are not all going to be Tom Cruise, or Stephen King making millions of dollars, but there is still great joy to be found in the experience of doing what you love and sharing that with others.”
On Her Bookshelf
The Noble Anthony and His Lady Cleopatra, by Paulette Gaines Wood
The Noble Anthony and His Lady Cleopatra Return Home, by Paulette Gaines Wood
Connecting With Paulette Gaines Wood
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