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?