Thursday, June 24, 2010

More On Is It Too Late?

Here's Part 2 of the Is It Too Late? article. If you want to write, the time is now. It's only getting later!


"Will the Boots and Saddles Club please come to order?" That was the first line of a novel Molly Samuels penned at the age of 8. Molly says, "That was so horrible, I put my writing skills to work elsewhere for the next forty-four years. I never lost that desire to write a book, even though it was one of those "someday" dreams. I'm fifty-eight now and have been seriously focused on writing for only four years." At fifty-two Molly came to a cross-roads in her career. She realized that everything she enjoyed throughout her career related to writing, and a new door opened for her. She spends her free time turning out chapter upon chapter of a historical novel that has captured the interest of her online critique group.


Molly states her thoughts on writers who jump into the writing game at a later stage of life. "I really think we need to age a bit to get experiences, things to fill those wrinkles in our brain for our sub consciences to ferret out, for our writing to glow. I don't think the first fifty-two years of my life were wasted, even though I never wrote anything more scintillating than a survey analysis."

A teacher's criticism douses the spark of creativity in many cases. Shirley Letcher had an interest in writing all through her high school years. A creative writing teacher criticized her work mercilessly, adding a massive dose of sarcasm. Shirley did not write again for more than twenty years when she returned to college to pursue a master's degree. Professors complimented her on weekly essays she submitted. It wasn't long before she was publishing articles and getting paid. She writes in her free time and finds it exhilarating.

Leel Devi Panikar operated a lucrative pub/restaurant business in Hong Kong. At the age of sixty-six, her life moved in a different direction. She found it necessary to bring her elderly wheelchair bound mother to live with her. Leela's care-taking duties are time consuming, but she is well aware that she needs something else in her life, too. In her precious spare time, she works on a novel set in Hong Kong.

I have a personal interest in the topic at hand. A desire to write occupied the recesses of my mind all through my growing-up years, college, career, and raising children. Too busy now I told myself, until, at the age of fifty-three, I landed in a small town that did not accept new people very readily. I was lonely and homesick for all we left behind when my husband made a job change. I plunged in head-first by enrolling in a correspondence course that promised to teach me how to write for children. I was hooked after Lesson One, and I've never looked back in the years since.

Middle-aged and older people who have never written before can learn the craft. Bumps and bruises await along the road to a writing career, but if desire is strong, and you practice patience and perseverance, satisfaction and success lie within reach. Draw from your wealth of experience to write that first story soon.

2 comments:

  1. It's never too late! At this age, I'm still learning like crazy and absorbing all I can. But young writers have to do that too. Plus, don't we now have all this wisdom? Great post.

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  2. I'm still searching and learning. I can't speak for all writers, but for me, I believe life experiences do help my writing. I really enjoyed the "too late" posts. Thanks!

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