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 writer.
- 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.
Written by Lynn Katz
Lynn Katz is a retired teacher curriculum writer and school principal. She writes middle-grade and adult fiction and is a member of her town’s Board of Education. Her debut psychological thriller was published in May 2021 with Black Rose Writing. The Surrogate explores the psychological profiles of a would-be mass shooter and the teacher who tries to help him. Her middle-grade novel Chester and the Magic 8 Ball about a girl who believes her toothless rescue dog is psychic is available February 2023. You can learn more about Lynn and her books on her website: www.lynnkatzauthor.com.