Writing a Book on Women and Aging

A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.

~ Steven Spielberg


Aging in Place

Writing a book is a daunting task. Writing one about women and aging when you’re a man, in this current climate, is well–even more daunting! But it was a magnificent obsession that had a need to be. As a male in a female-dominated profession, I have learned many lessons I felt compelled to share. I know the book can and will change women’s lives for the better.

One of the first people I shared it with was my mentor in Gerontology, Dr. Harry Rick Moody. He has been my inspiration and intellectual role model since our first meeting decades ago. He literally wrote the textbooks I studied as an undergraduate. When I received his feedback email I was elated. His words were kind and supportive. This is essential to new authors whose dreams can at times be fragile.

I share his words for selfish reasons–authorship as an unknown is a lonely pursuit, and occasionally you just want someone out there to know there is merit in your work.

Dr. Moody’s Feedback

It’s great: that’s what you need to know. You’ve done a terrific job on this, and I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I won’t begin to describe how busy I am— read Dave Ekerdt, “The Busy Ethic,” for a description of this particular pathology of old age, which I exhibit in all respects. But about the manuscript– I’ve read only the introduction and chapter one, but I love how you’ve done this. I can’t begin to enumerate all the positive points but here are a few: you use the first-person singular just right. You have fantastic quotes (and you know I LOVE quotes myself).

You have great stories (the one about Mavis is a great opener for the chapter). Your coverage of academic issues in gerontology is completely solid. I’m proud if I had any role in helping you but you clearly are now at the level appropriate for the Ph.D. you hold. Your account of how you, as a man, can write a book about women is very deftly done: You could have a career in diplomacy. I like the pictures and images you use. In fact, I would suggest using more of them. There are ways of getting around copyright issues. “A picture is worth a thousand words” remains true. Your outline and overview are just what is needed. I particularly appreciated your discussion of the topics you are NOT going to cover (and why).And, no, I’m not being modest here and I’m not giving you undue praise.

What you’ll need soon is a marketing plan for how to get this book the attention it deserves. We can brainstorm about that at any time. Congratulations, you’ve done something great here.

Bravo, my friend!



Harry “Rick” Moody: Leadership in the 3rd Act of life

Dr. Moody is currently writing a book on Aging and Climate Change.

Get his newsletter [email protected] http://www.climateandaging.org

error: Content is protected !!