Forget About Age

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”  –Satchel Paige

Two writers in the past month mentioned that they were probably too old to start writing. One had waited till her last child had graduated. Another had waited until he retired.

I’d like to debunk that “I’m too old” myth. It’s never too late to get started! It’s always a good time to tackle a new dream.

Jessica Tandy won the Academy Award for Best Actress at age eighty. James Michener didn’t write his first novel until age forty-two, then produced a gazillion bestsellers before he died at age ninety. There’s a woman in my neighborhood who can out-run me, and she’s at least seventy-five now. Youth isn’t everything–not in physical endeavors, nor mental ones.

Experience Rules!

Become comfortable with your current age, even if it’s not what you wish it were. You have tremendous writing potential because you’ve lived long enough to have learned a lot. You have life experience!

For example, years ago I had an elderly student (70′s) who wrote beautiful historical fiction lifted straight out of her childhood–a la Laura Ingalls Wilder. She loved doing it! She didn’t have to do any research, yet her descriptions were superb and rich with detail because she drew on her personal experiences.

Time’s a Wastin’

If writing and publishing are aspirations for you–but you’ve come to it later in life than others–please don’t let that stop you. If you come to the end of your life, will you be disappointed that you didn’t try? I think you will.

You have the same qualities that drive younger writers: creativity,  perseverance, and a passion to succeed. You may not have as much energy, but you probably have a much larger pool of ideas and experiences to draw from. Don’t be afraid to start something new at any stage of life. Chances are good that, if you apply yourself like any other writer, it’s not too late to succeed.

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2 Responses to Forget About Age

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t start freelance writing until I was in my 50s and had my first book bought by a publisher when I was 62. I’ve written for magazines, newspapers, PR companies, and right now I’m writing case studies for an international company about how their products are used in the field and doing some editing/writing for an educational publisher. I do my share of self-publishing, too. Please, if your dream is to write–write!

    • kwpadmin says:

      Heather, you are such a testimony for writers! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I know it will be an encouragement to so many! :-) And congratulations on your successes!

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