It’s Never Too Late
It’s Never Too Late to Start Writing.
Writers are like flowers. Okay, so that sounds a little cheesy, a little Wordsworthian, but it’s true. Some flowers bloom early, others bloom on time, and then there are those that bloom late. Yet no matter when those blooms appear, they are brilliant, gorgeous and worthy of the attention.
So it goes with writers. Some writers bloom during their 20’s. Téa Obreht won the National Book Award for The Tiger’s Wife at age 26. I can’t imagine having a manuscript ready for publication at age 26, much less one worthy of such an accolade. (Maybe if I had imagined it, I would have written it.)
Then there are the writers whose first books were published in their 40’s. Sherwood Anderson, author of the acclaimed Winesburg, Ohio, published his first novel at age 40. Literary luminary James Michener also published at age 40, then went on to write over 40 more books. Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows came out when he was 49.
This brings us to the late bloomers: those writers who didn’t see their first book published until after age 50 or maybe 60 or even 70. If you fall into this category, you can hold your head high because you share the shelf with some literary giants. Consider these famous late bloomers.
- Raymond Chandler’s first novel, The Big Sleep, was published when he was 51.
- Richard Adams first novel came out when he was in his early 50’s. Watership Down has since sold over 50 million copies.
- Anna Sewell published her first and only novel, Black Beauty, at age 57.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder’s iconic first novel, Little House in the Big Woods, was released when she was 64-years-old.
- Frank McCourt published Angela’s Ashes at age 66 after he retired from teaching.
- Harriet Doerr published her first novel, Stones for Ibarra, at age 73 and received a National Book Award for her efforts.
- Helen Hoover Santmyer was 88 when her debut novel, And Ladies of the Club, came out and proceeded to achieve bestseller status.
- Dorothea Tanning was a mere 93-years-old when her first novel, Chasm: A Weekend, was published.
If you think you have a book in you, feed that book. Let your story bloom, let it blossom, and let the rest of the world have a chance to enjoy its treasures. Your readers could care less what your age is. What they’re looking for is a great story.
This fabulous post was written by Lynn Wiese Sneyd.
Owner of LWS Literary Services. Helping authors everywhere get published, be seen, and be social on social media.
So cool! I love the idea, even if I don’t have a novel in me (or the desire to write one). I love to think this can be applied to any dream… They’re not just for the young! (Wait, does that comment mean I’m not young? Crap…)
hahaha well, I think we are young-ish… but I do love the thought that it can be applied to ANY dream. A man in his 80’s climbed Everest so… we got some time!
Wow! This is good. That gives me some hope.
I didn’t really start writing until I was at least 14 and all my other friends who write too say that they’ve been writing for as long as they remember- that made me feel like I missed out and started too late- but wow! Thanks for this piece, it inspired me… and I’m gonna keep practicing until I’m 50 and never give up!
YES! We writers must never give up! It’s out there…just around the corner =)