Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Never Too Late!


post by Shirley Drew

Sometimes I worry, that at the ripe old age of (well, let’s just say over 50), that’s it too late to start writing for audiences outside of my profession. That is to say, to write in a completely different way than I’ve been accustomed to for most of my life. Then I stumble on stories about writers who started late in life—in some cases, even later than me. Wow!

For example, one of my favorite authors, Sue Monk Kidd, debuted her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, when she was 54. Belva Plain, published her first novel, Evergreen, at 50. Raymond Chandler was 51 when The Big Sleep debuted. And Norman McLean wrote A River Runs Through It at 74! Yes, I said 74 (s-e-v-e-n-t-y f-o-u-r)! There are many more examples, but I think I’ve  made my point.

Of course there are the show-offs. Writers who’ve published their first novels before their thirtieth birthdays. Jack London published The Call of the Wild when he was but a young lad of 27, Truman Capote published Other Voices, Other Rooms when he was only 24, and Stephen King published three novels by the time he was 30. And Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was a girl (yes, a girl) of 19. But they’re ruining my argument.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s never too late. We’re writers. There's no statute of limitations on starting a writing career and no mandatory retirement age. We have lots of time to develop and sharpen our skills, try out our many ideas, send out our stories or essays, get rejected, and then do it all again. So stop reading this blog and get back to your writing!
  
Are you inspired by writers who were late bloomers? If so, who?

8 comments:

RichardK said...

I'm on the right side of my 40s and just published my first two books. And we have plenty of folks within Northern Colorado Writers who are well beyond the 50s that are doing quite well with their first books. I feel it's never too late as long as the fire is in you do write.

Shirley Drew said...

Agreed, Rich!! And congrats!

Sarah Sullivan said...

I love this post!!!! I am 3 short years away from 50 and have yet to meet my writing goals. This post gives me hope and inspiration. Thanks Shirley!

Shirley Drew said...

Thanks so much, Sarah! And you're still a young 'un!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi guys! I feel like the great-grandma here. My first book came out in 2007, a few months before I turned 65. #3 will release in late November this year. You're never too old to write and get published.

Shirley Drew said...

Thanks, Patricia--that's great inspiration!

Kelly said...

I think the richer your life experiences the more complex and multifaceted your book will be. One of my favorite authors is Madeleine L'Engle. She had some books published when she was younger, but the books she wrote as she got older were so much more deep and meaningful.

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for this reminder. I often feel like my "young enough to write" window is closing fast. But there's really no such thing! Whew!

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