#age #writing

~Age and Writing~

I have good days and bad days as a writer. I take into account my age, and, is it worth all the long, arduous time spent in drafting and editing for so little reward. Is it worth the precious time taken from my family?  

As a writer, do you consider age as detrimental? I used to write as a youngster and then into my teen years. Then life ignited into a whirlwind romance with my now husband. Between birthing 5 children I did pick up pen and paper, but it was preposterous when I had all these little arms grabbing for me. 

It always amazes me when I read about writer's with full time jobs and raising young children doing well with their books. How do they do it?!

I did a little research on writer's and how old they were when they were published. 

Here's an article about a 93 y/o woman who published her debut novel: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/aug/11/1

Authors Who Weren't Published Until After the Age of...

  1. Laura Ingalls Wilder, 65 - She didn't start writing until after she retired. Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, came out in 1932, and kicked off her Little House series. Little House on the Prairie came out in 1935. Laura Ingalls Wilder died at age 90.
  2. Henry Miller, 44 - His first book, Tropic of Cancer, was published when he was 44. 
  3. Anthony Burgess, 40 - He's most famous for A Clockwork Orange, which came out when he was 45 -- 
  4. Frank McCourt, 66 - His debut was Angela's Ashes, which came out when he was 66 -- the oldest debut on this list. 

  5. Dead and loving it.
    Bram Stoker, 50 - Five other interesting Bram Stoker facts. (1) He was Irish. Yes, Dracula was created by an Irishman.
  6. George Eliot, 40 - Her name was actually Mary Ann Evans. Her first novel, Adam Bede, came out when she was 40. 
  7. Alex Haley, 44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published when he was 44, and Rootscame out 11 years later.
  8. William S. Burroughs, 40 - He was published for the first time just after he turned 40. Naked Lunch didn't come out until he was 45. 
  9. Sherwood Anderson, 50 - Were kids who didn't grow up in Ohio required to read Winesburg, Ohio, aka the Canterbury Tales of the northeastern Midwest?
  10. Richard Adams, 52 - Adams stormed out of the gate at age 52 with Watership DownIt was an instant classic, won a ton of awards and vaulted him toward the top of the modern author pyramid. 
  11. O. Henry, 42 - O. Henry (also known as "William Sydney Porter" continues to captivate readers with his clever twist endings
I found the article here:

I've come to a conclusion ~ Age Doesn't Matter. 

For neurotic writer's like myself, I'm very thankful for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Join in the monthly posting here: 


  1. Mary Wesley (1912-2002) had her first book published in about 1970. I loved her quirky black humour and mourned that she hadn't started earlier.
    Age? A number. And I am only barely numberate. Literate, but barely numerate.

  2. Age doesn't matter at all, but yes, sometimes when I'm feeling down, my age does get to me. I think most writers get better as they grow older, though. More experience!

  3. Age doesn't matter, but being younger does allow for more energy, I think. Or maybe more time because there's less obligations, like bills. Those pesky things are always getting in the way of my writing time.

  4. I do wish I started writing earlier than I did, but with age comes experience. I hope to be writing well into my retirement years. :)

  5. I tried writing earlier, but life always got in the way. I wrote in spurts with pen and paper, typwriters, and then progressed to computers. I feel I needed the maturity to get to this point in my career. what's beautiful about is, we never have to stop.

  6. I feel that age is never a restriction, although perhaps it changes our perceptions. I wrote most of my original short stories as a teenager - not published. My debut novel was released when I was 60, and now at 63 I'm still going...trying for number 2. All my age has done is add some experience but that still has to be applied. But it's personal in the end.

  7. Interesting post. Two of my favorite authors, Denis Johnson and Don DeLillo didn't publish until their 30s and 40s. As for me, I was always writing, but I didn't go for it seriously until I made a decision to stop my serious painting career. A heartbreaking decision, really, but one I do not regret.

  8. I always love reading about authors who didn't get published until later in life. Gives me a pick-me-up every time! I have been discouraged lately and feeling like it's not worth it, etc, but I'm trying to get over my funk this week and get back to the grind. The writing is always worth it to me when I don't let all the other stuff get in the way.


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