Let’s face it we ain’t getting any younger!
Occasionally I’ll come across a writer in 50s, 60s and yes 70 and older. They’ll tell me they wish they could spend their time writing. Some of these folks want to write memoirs and some of them believe they can write the next great novel.
I love encouraging writers and so I’ll tell them to get started, to which they reply (usually while chuckling), “I’m just too old. Maybe if I were thirty years younger.”
This is utterly complete nonsense. The EXACT reason you decide NOT to write is the SAME EXACT reason why you should be writing. Really!
And here are several reasons why:
It’s all about the EXPERIENCE!
FIRST, the older you get the wiser you become. That may sound like a cliché but the truth of the matter is that as a mature person you have had the necessary life lessons to make a substantial impact on your audience. You see, anyone can write but it takes someone with years of experience to convey the truth of a particular situation. Older people have experiences that younger people do not normally experience. Death of loved ones, the loss of a job, the onset of disease and the battles that get them through it – are just some of the benefits of writing.
Really good writing come deep down inside. When you draw on personal experience you are much more likely to resonate with your audience. Ten years ago, I had the misfortune of losing my job as the company I worked for went bankrupt. As I drove home a myriad of questions and thoughts raced through my head. My mouth was dry. The driving had become almost automatic as my thought engine raced to make sense of the new situation I was in. My wife was out of work as well and we were living in a rental – and I had a 3 year old daughter. Survival instincts kicked in!
If I ever come across a scene where a character loses a job suddenly with similar circumstances I would certainly fall back on my own experience to build reality and build empathy with the audience.
You’re a better writer!
For many of us as we get older we get better.
You may have had the unfortunate experience of working in a dead end job for 30 years but I’ll bet you got a lot better at writing emails or anything for that matter. If you’re an avid reader the writing becomes more intuitive. Your vocabulary improves with every year.
If you have been toiling with writing for the last 30 years (but haven’t yet written anything) you most likely purchased books on writing. And some of you have attempted to at least jot down a few lines. This all adds up over the long run.
Writing isn’t Gymnastics!
If this blog were on Gymnastics and you’re somewhere in your mid-seventies with aspirations of making the olympics…well things would be different. Our bodies age. Yes they do. Our skin gets wrinkled and our teeth and hair fall out. But our minds continue to get stronger. Of course for some of us our minds slow down a bit but I like to think of it as a super computer with a hard drive that’s been filled with tons of experiences.
Others do experience more serious issues but that’s not everyone and if your mind is up finding and reading this then most likely you’re fine.
There are a lot more reasons why old age shouldn’t put you off to writing. IF you have any of your own please feel free to comment!