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“We don’t grow old. When we cease to grow, we become old.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Too often, because of the weight of negative expectations, so much potential that could be released on retirement and so many ambitions that could be fulfilled in later life come to nothing. By providing positive role models and by furthering our understanding of the nature of creativity in later life, Autumn Voices will help future generations lead creative and fulfilled lives.

Examining creativity in later life is an important strand in our society’s need to acknowledge and understand that a physical decline does not necessarily mean a decline in emotional, creative and personal growth; that creativity is linked to mental as well as physical health, and that our economy will not survive unless we stop regarding our elderly citizens as a burden and start seeing them as potentially productive and useful people whose maturity, life experience and insights are valuable assets. A society that is better for older people is better for people of all ages. To address the problems and the opportunities of the elderly, as Autumn Voices does, is to benefit the overall welfare of our society.

There is much good advice to be found in our Autumn Voices community: about writing, creating, ageing, and living. It comes from people who, rather than denying or resisting old age, have chosen to embrace it – to regard it as a new and interesting phase of life – full of possibilities. While acknowledging that their later lives are related to their earlier years, they appreciate that they go beyond them. Their present lives are not just repeat performances of earlier life. The challenges are different. There is a realization that as one door closes another opens, and that the doors which close behind have positive messages about the direction of their lives every bit as much as the ones that open up in front.

The writers interviewed by Lloyd-Jones talk in the Autumn Voices book talk about the gifts that accompany old age: deeper self-knowledge; feeling more connected to your true self; feeling connected to something greater than yourself; increased acceptance of self, of your limitations and of life as it really is; greater interest in other people; a strong sense of gratitude and a desire to give back some of the things you took from life; becoming more reflective. a feeling of liberation and of being less afraid of doing and saying what you really want to; time to cherish the people and relationships important to you; a sense of serenity and a growing spirituality.

It is this, and all the wonderful creative things we can do to enhance, succeed in and celebrate our later years, that is the foundation of our Autumn Voices online community, and we invite you to join us.