Monday, February 4, 2008

Coming into print later in the game?

How old is too old to get into writing? I know a writer who published her first books in her late 70s. Conversely, I know a woman who told me wistfully that, at 42, she was too old to pursue her first love of writing. I assured her she most certainly was not -- but I remember feeling that way at 27.

The key is to just do it. Get started, in a small way if need be. The way to eat an elephant? A bite at a time.

Check out this article by a woman grappling with the idea of getting into writing. or this piece by Wendy C. Allen on
Also on, Johan Dahlberg gives several reasons you're never too old to write:

While school courses in English and writing and literature are helpful, don't allow those voices from past teachers or others who may not have known how to be helpful to affect how you feel about writing or what you're ready to learn about it. Most teachers know how to encourage talent, but someone may have deterred you or scared you or bullied you as a writer. Maybe you got a C- in Grade 10 English. Let that go. You may need new voices, a new star to steer by.

I have a friend who, like many authors before her, took rejection of her novel manuscript very personally, so it sat on her shelf. I haven't read it, so I don't know if it's literary treasure or trash, but I encouraged her to get writing for a local publication on a regular basis. She did that, and her writing has grown by leaps and bounds; she's even working on her book again.

For me, the impetus to get past the inertia of past failures came in the form of an aptitude test I took as an adult that pretty much told me writing was all I was fit for! It confirmed a few things I had hoped but hadn't dared dream -- and gave me the chutzpah not to look back for two decades of sheer, willful, stubborn progress.

The message to new writers? You can do this. The message to seasoned writers? You can encourage someone else.

For a list of elements of news writing, check out this Google search:

No comments: