What’s The Rush? 5 Reasons To Enjoy Writing As You Age
I’m getting tired of reading posts from so-called “aging” writers who are racing furiously against the tick-tocks of their inner clocks. I’ve had it with their self-imposed timelines based solely on the calendar, the number of birthday candles on their cakes. My favorite is the 29-year-old debut author who celebrates publishing her first novel before her 30th birthday—just in time!
As an author approaching 70, I celebrate writers, agents, publishers, and reviewers who enjoy the process, welcome the journey, and ignore the ageism so prevalent in our country. Here are 5 reasons why it pays for writers to avoid the birthday-related rush to publication:
- The longer you’ve lived, the more books you’ve read. Reading books makes you a better
- The longer you’ve lived, the more emotions you’ve felt. Love, loss, grief, joy, pain,
injustice, all of those emotions will make your writing more powerful.
- The longer you’ve lived, the more people you know. Some of those people may morph
into fascinating characters in your novels. (Don’t forget to change their names.)
- The longer you’ve lived, the more places you’ve traveled. You may have lived in other
countries, among people who speak a different language and have different customs.
Travel will help you question your assumptions, and open your eyes to new ways of
viewing the world. Travel will make your writing more honest.
- The longer you’ve lived, the more time you have to write. After many decades focused
on getting an education, finding and keeping jobs, raising children, making a thousand
breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and worrying about finances, you may find yourself retired,
with fewer responsibilities, and low and behold you have hours a day to devote to your
writing. You have that most precious of all gifts. Time.
So, what’s the rush? It’s time to celebrate writers over 50, over 60, over 70, and over 80. Our
only deadline is death, and we have no idea when the grim reaper will end our writing life. I’m going to assume I have at least 20 more years of writing ahead of me. Every day, I will appreciate the bounty of writers’ gifts in my life: books, new people, new places, the wide range of emotions human beings experience, and most of all the precious gift of time.