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Dark River
08-10-2011, 01:22 AM
Okay, maybe not the sunset. Not yet, anyway.
Maybe just early to mid twilight. My question is aimed at writers over fifty who still work toward and dream of success. What gives you the courage to keep going? What do you do when you are tempted to quit?
I've been writing since age six and I think I've got the basics down pretty well by now. (One of the perks of getting old is that I am suppossed to have all this inate wisdom and crap. I really don't but nobody has to know...)
I've only been seeking publication for the past few years, because it's taken me that long to figure out that I may have some good stories to tell. And the few partials and queries I've sent out so far were typewritten. *shudder at what an embarressing hot mess that was!*
So here I am, subbing one and working on one on the computer, and planning several others and it's a good place to be.
I do think of quitting sometimes and I always tell my old man that if I become a vegetable and can't write anymore, just put me down. He has graciously agreed.
So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you
handle this?

jaksen
08-10-2011, 01:28 AM
I'm about your age but don't have quite the same outlook as you. I've seen so many younger people go before me, is perhaps the reason why, and they had huge dreams, too. I'm sure many of them thought they had 20-30 or more years ahead in which to achieve their dreams, whether they were artistic ones or merely to bike across North America for a charity they loved.

I seldom think about my age; it's not an important part of who I am. I have never been tempted to quit. (My family would seriously wonder at my sanity if I ever even said as much.) I write and have had some (small) success, but writing is just a part of me. I'll write as long as I can and continue to have my stories and work published (or try to have them published), also, for as long as I can.

'As long as I can' might be a week, a year or forty years, but that's how I plan to spend the rest of the time that I am here.

Layla Nahar
08-10-2011, 01:51 AM
How do you
handle this?

denial, mostly

Wayne K
08-10-2011, 02:48 AM
I write because I'm old, not in spite of it. I like writing because people shut up and let the old man talk for a while if you do it right. :)

I have a lot to say after all these years, and I write memoir, and my books have spoken to people in ways I never considered.

A woman told me the other day that her daughter read my book, and told her that it helped her understand her better :)

This morning a survivor's mother told me how much better she understood what happened to her daughter :)

I still have something to contribute to the world. That keeps me going

ETA: I thought this was roundtable, sorry. My answer stands for the age thing

WriteMinded
08-10-2011, 02:56 AM
Okay, maybe not the sunset. Not yet, anyway.
Maybe just early to mid twilight. My question is aimed at writers over fifty who still work toward and dream of success. What gives you the courage to keep going? What do you do when you are tempted to quit? Success to me would mean getting my books picked up by a publisher. First I have to finish my WIP. Whip it into shape. That is what I concentrate on. Thinking beyond that throws me into anxiety or depression.

I got a very late start. Quit? Not at all tempted.


(One of the perks of getting old is that I am suppossed to have all this inate wisdom and crap. I really don't but nobody has to know...) Yep. I hear that. With age I've gotten cynical and snarky. Call it wisdom. :)


I've only been seeking publication for the past few years, because it's taken me that long to figure out that I may have some good stories to tell. And the few partials and queries I've sent out so far were typewritten. *shudder at what an embarressing hot mess that was!*At least you sent something out. Typewriter, huh? :D


So here I am, subbing one and working on one on the computer, and planning several others and it's a good place to be.
I do think of quitting sometimes and I always tell my old man that if I become a vegetable and can't write anymore, just put me down. He has graciously agreed. My greatest fear is dementia or Alzheimers. I've said the same thing to my husband and my son.

So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you
handle this? I act as if I have time.


denial, mostlyYES! This exactly! And, One day at a time.

happywritermom
08-10-2011, 03:01 AM
I'm a little bit younger (45), but the way I see it, this is my time. I still have young kids (The youngest are 4-year-old twins.), but every year I seem to find just a little more time to write. When they no longer need me so intensly (physically), I will still have my writing and I will immerse myself in it. My career can grow with my kids and continue to florish long after they have established themselves elsewhere. It's really a pretty cool way to age.

sheilas_world
08-10-2011, 03:21 AM
Well, I'm 53 (and a half, mustn't forget that), and sometimes I feel like life is rushing by at breakneck speed, and it can be very scary.

I wonder how long I have left, sometimes, and if I'll keep my mind even if my body falls apart. My father is 81, works full time, and still mentally sharp, as are his older sisters, and my mother (at 72) and her sisters that are in their late 70s to 80s are the same -- so I hope I got those good genes!

I write because I have always done it, and I love it. I try not to think about it, but I do regret not having the courage or self-confidence to send out my work years ago.

I tell my kids to keep up with what I write, because some day they may make a lot of money off it!

mccardey
08-10-2011, 03:26 AM
Well, I'm 53 (and a half, mustn't forget that), and sometimes I feel like life is rushing by at breakneck speed, and it can be very scary.

I wonder how long I have left, sometimes, and if I'll keep my mind even if my body falls apart. My father is 81, works full time, and still mentally sharp, as are his older sisters, and my mother (at 72) and her sisters that are in their late 70s to 80s are the same -- so I hope I got those good genes!

I write because I have always done it, and I love it. I try not to think about it, but I do regret not having the courage or self-confidence to send out my work years ago.

I tell my kids to keep up with what I write, because some day they may make a lot of money off it!

Twins!! And I'm much too old to stop writing now :)

NeuroFizz
08-10-2011, 06:56 AM
I didn't start writing fiction until I was around 50.

Age shouldn't be a barrier to accepting intellectual challenges. Nor should it be a barrier to achievement. It's still all about motivation and self-discipline. Of course, the energy level may drop a bit, and it takes time to keep chasing the damn kids off my lawn...

Shadow_Ferret
08-10-2011, 07:16 AM
I've been writing and submitting since I was 15. I'm now 54. I still write and submit, although now the rejections seem more meaningful. It's like I haven't learned a thing. After nearly 40 years doing this, you think I'd have honed my craft enough where I understand what editors want. Enough so that I know what makes a good story and what makes a bad story. But I don't. I make the same mistakes, get the same rejections. And I see people younger than me just arriving at AW and seeming to have immediate success. And to be honest, I find it all very frustrating to the point that a day doesn't go by where I don't think about just quitting. It's obvious I just don't have what it takes, the talent, or that certain something that makes successful writers successful. I certainly haven't learned to improve. And yet, through the depths of frustration and depression and self-pity, I find that I just can't NOT write. Doesn't matter how badly it sucks, how corny and unoriginal the story is or how simplistic the sentence structure might be. I.just.can't.stop.

And that I find really frustrating. What is the freaking point in having the desire to do something if you don't have the ability to learn how to succeed?

Manuel Royal
08-10-2011, 07:37 AM
I'm 50. I decided to write seriously in 1976, but allowed myself to be sidetracked by various obstacles. Thirty years later, I made a new start. The past two years, I've taken advantage of an unwanted period of unemployment to write every day. Just starting to, possibly, get somewhere (a few sales, and now my first regular paying gig, a fiction column for an online newspaper).

Much as I regret all the years away from writing, I'm glad to be doing it now. I could have already had a career -- but at least now I have the excitement of trying to start one. There are more ideas in my head than I'll ever be able to properly develop. I'll just keep working at the craft and hope to achieve something while my brain still works.

I try to concentrate on what I can do and not worry about what I can't.

Jstwatchin
08-10-2011, 07:44 AM
I think the days where 50 was approaching the sunset are long gone. My grandmother lived to be over 100, almost everyone else in my family at least got close to 90. Isn't it said that we need around 40 years to approach our own full mental capacity?

dangerousbill
08-10-2011, 07:53 AM
So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you handle this?

Winter of my life? Hey what? I'm 68, and my sun is still three hands above the horizon. I'll stop writing when they pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands.

When time's wing'ed chariot comes by, I'll just tell the driver, 'No thanks, I'll wait for the next one.'

Dark River
08-10-2011, 09:07 AM
Thank you very much for all your thoughtful replies. I guess I was feeling a little sorry for myself at the moment but I know that if you have this gift you just have to keep on trying. I am going to be sixty this year and it's sort of freaking me out, but I think once that hurdle is past I will be able to accept whatever my karma is with grace.
You all make me feel as if I'm in real good company.
*tipping my hat and making a toast* Here's to us!

dangerousbill
08-10-2011, 10:56 AM
*tipping my hat and making a toast* Here's to us!


I'm sorry, sir. I'll need to see proof of age before I can serve alcohol.

eyeblink
08-10-2011, 09:10 PM
Edward Upward was still writing when he passed away two years ago. He was considered England's oldest living writer - he was the last remaining of the group of writers in the 1930s which included Auden, Isherwood and Spender. Edward Upward lived to 105.

They're not writers, but Manoel de Oliveira is still directing films and Elliott Carter is still composing music, and they were born on the same day in December 1908.

As long as you have all your faculties, what stops you from writing at any age?

(Eyeblink, a mere 46)

stormie
08-10-2011, 09:28 PM
Yep, I've hit the 50 year mark but I'm keepin' on, keepin' on. I still make mistakes in my writing career and I'm still learning. I get acceptances and even more rejections. But the ride is fun and I have no wish to stop it. Kind of like a roller coaster with the low points and high points, and not knowing what's around the corner. Could be lousy but could be the greatest thing ever.

For me it'll always be high noon.

donroc
08-10-2011, 09:33 PM
Well, children, having turned 79 this past June :partyguy:, I have one historical novel in-house that will be published later this year or early next year, I completed my latest WIP today another historical set in the 9th century, and I have several projects to consider for the next novel.

I still write because I breathe.

Ari Meermans
08-10-2011, 09:37 PM
Happy Belated Birthday!

I look at it this way: Now that I have a few years (61) under mah belt, I have more material to work with.

Carlene
08-10-2011, 09:38 PM
Issac Asimov was once asked what he would do if he found out he only had six minutes to live. His answer? "I'd type faster."

Never surrender - never give up. How much time do we have? TODAY! So just write, just write, just write.

Carlene

Chase
08-10-2011, 09:51 PM
So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you
handle this?

Winter? It's not coming; it's here. Paraphrasing Phil Conners in Groundhog Day, "It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last for the few days you have left."

Yet the days I don't write or swap lines with my much younger critique partners are infinitely colder and deeper shades of gray.

sheadakota
08-10-2011, 09:56 PM
I will turn 50 this october, had my first book published when I was 48- the fifth was just released this past June and I have contracts out for two more- and several more that I need to either finish writing or editing and then they get sent off as well- As someone else said my age doesn't define me- it never did and it never did. If I thought twice about how old I was (or wasn't)_ I wouldn't be testing for my 2nd degree brown belt in martial arts in two weeks.

it's just a number- it doesn't get to tell me what I can and can't do-

allenparker
08-10-2011, 10:54 PM
I don't write because I am some age counted in a human construct. I write because there is a message inside of me that has to get out. When I was in my 40's I wrote humor stuff that made people laugh. In my thirties, I wrote screenplays about crime and suffering. In my twenties, I wrote poems to forget the horrid things Uncle Sam taught me to do to people in my youth.

Now that I am in my 50's, I write to keep the peace with the gremlins that reside in my brain. If I reach 64, I'll ask my wife if she still needs me and write about the beautiful woman who shared my life.

Or I'll order peanuts and sit in the park and write lyrical stories of the brave men of old who fought the drug wars.

Tell them what you see, feel and hear in that special place in your mind stories come from. The rest is the craft of the story. Age is irrelevant.

just a thought or two.

happywritermom
08-11-2011, 04:17 AM
I just read a short story I wrote in my mid-20s.
Thank God I didn't get serious about fiction until now!
I mean, yuck.
That's about all I can say.

dangerousbill
08-11-2011, 05:58 AM
A good article on this exact subject is in last week's New Yorker magazine, August 8, 'The Answer Man', page 28.

Bear with the early historical bit about Lucretius.

Montaigne "once saw a man die...who complained bitterly in his last moments that destiny was preventing him from finishing the book he was writing. The absurdity of the regret, in Montaigne's view, is best conveyed by lines from Lucretius: 'But this they fail to add: that after you expire/ not one of all these things will fill you with desire.'"

shakeysix
08-11-2011, 06:18 AM
i had some stuff turned down when i was in my thirties and forties. back then i was a genius and the rejections really stung. so i decided to write for myself only. because, of course, i was the only one brilliant enough to 'get' me. one day, many years later, i came across one of the turndown letters in an SASE with an old boxed up type written manuscript. like i said--it was a looong time ago.

upon re-reading the letter i realized that what i considered a cruel, cold 'get lost and don't bother me again' in my thirties, was really pretty encouraging. and more amazing--i had managed to get the attention of a big city agent ( i live in a very small town) who had read all of my manuscript all the way through and was interested enough to turn me down with some helpful advice.

i re-read the manuscript --what i could get through. damned if the city fellow wasn't right after all. once removed from the piece i could see the errors. i started a new novel the next weekend. i was 47. my husband died. my kids grew up. i wrote. sometimes i edit the old stuff. sometimes i write my 'creation stuff.' but i always write.


in my fifties i guess i grew up enough to want to be a good writer, not a genius--s6

kgwin
08-11-2011, 06:44 AM
59 in a few days. I found a new zeal for my work when I met my partner now of two years. My job is to cook, keep the house relatively tidy and write. I find writing is itself the goal. It aligns me and gets me totally in touch with my inner voice, emotions and feelings.I share love, romance, warmth and mystery. The finished product is the accomplishment. It's the heart and soul of my joy outside of my partner. I don't write about us but our sensitivity is revealed in my words.
K

blacbird
08-11-2011, 06:54 AM
65. I write. Have done so for a long time. I no longer entertain the fantasy of getting anything published.

caw

Procrastinista
08-11-2011, 09:30 AM
49. Tried to make it in the music industry and failed. What's depressing is that at some point you know you can't handle touring, sleeping in a van, and eating fast food all the time on a ultra-tight budget.

I only discovered the joy of writing four years back and am excited that there are no physical limitations and that I'll have this new passion to continue to pursue once I retire.

Chrisla
08-11-2011, 10:17 AM
I'm still writing at 77--just as I still do all the other things I love. Publication? I don't know. It could still happen, since the women in my family all live into their nineties. My only regret is that I had to quit writing and get a "real" job thirty years ago, just as I was breaking in with short stories.

But there are compensations. I have a lot of life experience I can weave into my work, and I have some wonderful writing buddies.

My writing group consists of seven women and one "dude" (as he calls himself). He's 26, the youngest, and I'm the oldest. But the group considers the two of us the best story tellers, and we have a special connection.

Stop because of age? Not on your life!

kgwin
08-11-2011, 11:58 AM
I'm still writing at 77--just as I still do all the other things I love. Publication? I don't know. It could still happen, since the women in my family all live into their nineties. My only regret is that I had to quit writing and get a "real" job thirty years ago, just as I was breaking in with short stories.

But there are compensations. I have a lot of life experience I can weave into my work, and I have some wonderful writing buddies.

My writing group consists of seven women and one "dude" (as he calls himself). He's 26, the youngest, and I'm the oldest. But the group considers the two of us the best story tellers, and we have a special connection.

Stop because of age? Not on your life!

That is so great.

WriteMinded
08-11-2011, 05:29 PM
In grammar school I decided I would become an author.

Highschool, a male, a lot of idiocy, and plain old fear intervened, and not on my behalf. In my mid-thirties, I again got the bug to write. That was quickly squashed under a heap of family problems, health problems, and a demanding job. Twenty-five years later, I decided that if I was ever going to write, I'd better get on with it. I started with a novel. No use wasting time on small stuff, right?

I was having a wonderful old time until it happened. I came to AW and found out I had a whole lot to learn. I'd thought I could just sit down and write a book. Didn't know about POV. Not much, anyway. I was writing omni, so thought I could do whatever I wanted. Actually, aside from the purple prose, it wasn't that badly done.

I worry a lot about: Not learning fast enough. Not living long enough to finish my current WIP (not omni :)). Not getting to my next book (not omni, or maybe...).

In the future (assuming I have a lengthy one), I will worry about: finding beta readers, writing query letters, and getting published.

Like Chrisla, the women in my family mostly live into their 90s. However, with the exception of my mother, they all lived pretty healthy lives, while I have not always been kind to my body.

But stop? Give up? No. This is my time. I did all the stuff I was supposed to do. Some of it pretty well. Some of it badly. Now I am doing what I want. Do. Not. Get. In. My. Way.

Luckily I have a husband who supports my 'habit'. He even pretends to listen while I rattle on about my plot troubles. :D

Manuel Royal
08-11-2011, 06:15 PM
Counting age by trips around the Sun is an arbitrary method, so I try not to let the number 50 bother me.

It's more meaningful to say that I've reached about 63% of my life expectancy. Probably closer to 70%, given my diabetes and hypertension. Then comes the unending void of death.

cwfgal
08-11-2011, 07:36 PM
56 here...for another two months. I've been writing since I knew how and sending stuff out for forty years. But it was very inconsistent in my twenties thanks to marriage, divorce, a full time job, and single parenthood. I didn't get anything published until I was 38 and I sold my first novel when I was 41.

I plan to write until I die. The need to do so is in me and is as much a part of me as my eye color. That means there will be some unfinished project, some unmet goal when the end comes, and that's okay. Death is inevitable and, as a nurse, I know how unpredictable and arbitrary it can be. Death is not my biggest fear. My biggest fear is being alive and unable to write for some reason.

Beth

Dark River
08-11-2011, 08:38 PM
65. I write. Have done so for a long time. I no longer entertain the fantasy of getting anything published.

caw

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish her first book until she was 65. She wrote the Little House on the Prairie books. There is always hope.

Charlie Horse
08-11-2011, 11:43 PM
I like this. A thread populated by other people my age. Aside from all the bullshit about writing because I have to and writing because I have something to say (which is all true, but so cliche), I've got one other huge motivating factor. Basically I've very little saved for retirement. I figure if I'm lucky, by the time I hit 65 (another 10 years) I may have some royalties to pad my social security with. Otherwise I'll be handing out smiley stickers at the Wal-Mart.

Lil
08-12-2011, 12:33 AM
What makes you think it's the sunset of your life? Maybe you're just hitting your prime.
I have decided that seventy is the new twenty.

Chrisla
08-12-2011, 10:46 AM
What makes you think it's the sunset of your life? Maybe you're just hitting your prime.
I have decided that seventy is the new twenty.

Love it! I'm twenty-seven. As long as it doesn't mean I still have to go through the divorce, raise all those kids, work all those years, and lose all those people I loved . . .

WriteMinded
08-12-2011, 05:36 PM
I figure if I'm lucky, by the time I hit 65 (another 10 years) I may have some royalties to pad my social security with. Otherwise I'll be handing out smiley stickers at the Wal-Mart.When my husband retires, you and I will be competing for the same job.

bearilou
08-12-2011, 05:57 PM
but I'm keepin' on, keepin' on.

My mom says that all the time.

She's 70 and has an active, working farm with Angus Beef cattle.

I'm 3 years shy of 50 and it's been in the past 5 years that I realized that I wanted to get my stories down and do that regularly.

A good writer friend of mine's grandmother recently passed. She was 98 and was of sound mind mere weeks before she slid away from us.


I think the days where 50 was approaching the sunset are long gone. My grandmother lived to be over 100, almost everyone else in my family at least got close to 90. Isn't it said that we need around 40 years to approach our own full mental capacity?

This can't be repeated enough, I think. There was a time when 35 was considered middle age. I'm 47 and keep waiting for when I'll feel like a grown up 'is supposed to feel'. :D If anyone has anything to say that can help, let me know. Until then, I'll be where I am, striving for the next hurdle and acting like I got a whole lot of years left ahead of me.

Overall, the responses in this thread have filled me with new energy, that all the 'wasted years of my youth' weren't wasted. I'm still in my youth! I have time to make it up!


Counting age by trips around the Sun is an arbitrary method, so I try not to let the number 50 bother me.

I like the way this man thinks!

donroc
08-12-2011, 08:42 PM
To quote myself: Chronology is not destiny.

firedrake
08-12-2011, 08:54 PM
My first published novel is released 6 days after my 52nd birthday.
I didn't start writing seriously until I was 49.

Helen Hooven Santmayer was well into her 80s (I think) when ...And Ladies of the Club was published and that was a rip-roaring bestseller. (And a bloody good read to boot).

Raphee
08-13-2011, 03:35 PM
Thanks for this thread. I'm 44, and feel angry at myself, every few months, for not writing when I was younger.
I did write, but gave it up for silly reasons, and later for getting food on the table. Its only been a few years that I realized I had to go back to writing. It's hard with a day job, still, now I know what I love doing.

PorterStarrByrd
08-13-2011, 04:51 PM
I really didn't have time to write until I was pushing 60 ... too many things on the table. Now I am retired and still have too many things on the table (probably a requirement for a writer) but I make sure writing and reading are near the front edge.

Age means nothing to me. Since I don't have ant idea of how much more of it is coming my way, I just keep on keeping on. A smile every early morning helps (keep the booze and the meds to a minimim) the process.

The only concession I have made is to make sure I have at least two books ready before I submit my first one for publishing. That is for the comfort of the potential publisher who might be reluctant to push a one hit wonder.

I had a nice surprise a week ago when the daughter of one of my HS friends saw my book that her father had (looseleaf notebook version). She has a close friend who works for a publisher and mentioned it to him. His remark was "Too bad he doesn't have another book too."

Since I did have one (that is is in decent shape, though not normally ready for submission) he is going to get them into the hands of an editor there. Though in checking out the publisher I am not sure it is a match for my genre, the point is that he felt more comfortable knowing I could write more that one book.

Age is, for me, the answer to "How did you know that?"
My answer is "I'm 63"

Experience, if you used your youth even a little productively, is a by-product of breathing. Not sure I have used all of my youth up yet but I'm probably working on it.

For a sanity check ... far from the worlds of YA and Sci-fi (for the most part) you might check out the Old Farts Bar and Grill on the Office Party forum. For most of us, fiction includes remembering our ages.

WriteMinded
08-14-2011, 06:29 PM
Age is, for me, the answer to "How did you know that?"
My answer is "I'm 63"

Experience, if you used your youth even a little productively, is a by-product of breathing. Not sure I have used all of my youth up yet but I'm probably working on it. :) A misspent youth is equally useful to a writer. Thankfully.

Carlene
08-14-2011, 06:43 PM
I love that, WriteMind and boy is it true!

I published four books and a novella last year ate age 69. So far this year, I've published two novellas and finished the first draft of novel 14. I don't feel that I'm old - yet. I'll be writing and publishing in my 90's - I hope.

Carlene

Shadow_Ferret
08-15-2011, 12:34 AM
in my fifties i guess i grew up enough to want to be a good writer, not a genius--s6

I've sort of come to a different conclusion in my journey. When I was in my teens and twenties I thought I was a good writer.

After all the years of rejection I've come to the conclusion I'm not even a mediocre one.

butterfly
08-15-2011, 05:02 AM
So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you
handle this?
__________________

Wow, great replies! Love hearing from the "over 50" crowd!
Interesting question. Life has been rushing at breakneck speed since I graduated college. Now it's more like faster than the speed of light. Monday I go into work reciting, "sigh...Monday again" then in a blink it's Friday again. Not wishing the week away any more, just rearranging it. No more tv at night, more writing or reading about writing. No more websites to kill time, only those to add to what I want to do. I realize now the saying "life is short", I wonder where the hell the past went and why I can't remember 90% of it, and I hope I get another 46 years, as long as I'm functioning and lucid. If not, tag my toe and close the door.

I've been writing since that guy in high school loved someone else. Wrote kids stories when my kids were young then got more philosophical, which no one seems to like. 5 years ago started a library of writing books and tried to "write the ghosts from your past" but that truly sucked and made me really unhappy - why go back to a place you've left behind? So I have recently decided to go with the kids stories. I've finished a rhymer that I'm ready to send out and working on a fantasy. NOTHING to do with vampires, witches, warlocks, gremlins, aliens, or creepy crawlies, just a little girl who time travels to a world where everything is literal. And I love it and it makes me smile, and it gives me something to think about other than my ex bf, why I don't care about housework anymore, and those damn bills.

When I turned 49 I approached 50 by going to a salon and having my colored black hair dyed white. Two weeks ago I said "screw this" and had my white colored a rich mahogany brown. I bought some new Mary Kay cosmetics and 4/5 people I have run into say I look 15 years younger. Wow. Ever wonder why people don't tell you things you should know when you should know them, rather than after? Anyway, I don't really care that I'm 53. It's a good number. Many don't get to be this number so now I'm bonusing.

I'm going to write because I need to be sure that I can be someone other than someone's mother, daughter, grandmother, employee, coworker. I need to separate myself from all that is not me and become someone who is me. Writing is the one thing that I can truly claim as a victory. I would LOVE to sell something. LOVE TO. If I don't, then it wasn't meant to be.

I can't predict everything but I'm not going to stop being happy.

btw: M.M. Kaye had her first novel, "The Far Pavillions", published when she was 84. Read the reviews. I have the book.

reiver33
08-15-2011, 05:47 AM
I'm 52 and I've only been writing for a few years. I consider myself an aspiring writer, rather than aspiring author, as I lack that drive, that need, to see my name in print. Maybe I'm just lazy.

I paid to have my longest story (100k words) professionally edited, partly to see what I was doing wrong (I'm not part of any writers group) and partly with an aim to make the tale all that it could be. The editor, who also works as a literary agent, included his take on the submission process, based on over 20 years in the business.

Quite frankly I found this discouraging as, for example, it took Ian M Banks 16 years to get his first novel published. I don't have 16 years, or, more accurately, I don't have the urge to spent that length of time pursuing something that isn't that important to me. I write because I enjoy storytelling, but the size of the audience isn't a major issue.

So I don't sub, not really. I've had a couple of pieces displayed via a web based magazine and sent off the odd story on a whim, if the process is really easy (all rejections), but that's it.

I've never liked being told what to do and don't respond well to praise and encouragement. Those times when I've been urged to 'knock my work into shape' for a submission just leave me cold, even a tad hostile.

If you want to write, then write. Everything else is just incidental.

WriteMinded
08-15-2011, 08:01 PM
I love that, WriteMind and boy is it true!

I published four books and a novella last year ate age 69. So far this year, I've published two novellas and finished the first draft of novel 14. I don't feel that I'm old - yet. I'll be writing and publishing in my 90's - I hope.

CarleneSixty-nine. Oh, I love hearing that! Thanks. Anything to keep my hope breathing. Without it, my writing would wither away, and so would I.


I've sort of come to a different conclusion in my journey. When I was in my teens and twenties I thought I was a good writer.

After all the years of rejection I've come to the conclusion I'm not even a mediocre one.I thought the same thing at that age because others told me so, and I wanted it to be true. I learned better, and am still learning. The jury is out on the final conclusion.

timewaster
08-15-2011, 08:16 PM
Okay, maybe not the sunset. Not yet, anyway.
Maybe just early to mid twilight. My question is aimed at writers over fifty who still work toward and dream of success. What gives you the courage to keep going? What do you do when you are tempted to quit?
I've been writing since age six and I think I've got the basics down pretty well by now. (One of the perks of getting old is that I am suppossed to have all this inate wisdom and crap. I really don't but nobody has to know...)
I've only been seeking publication for the past few years, because it's taken me that long to figure out that I may have some good stories to tell. And the few partials and queries I've sent out so far were typewritten. *shudder at what an embarressing hot mess that was!*
So here I am, subbing one and working on one on the computer, and planning several others and it's a good place to be.
I do think of quitting sometimes and I always tell my old man that if I become a vegetable and can't write anymore, just put me down. He has graciously agreed.
So where are you with all this, you writers that also sight the winter of your life rushing toward you at breakneck speed? How do you
handle this?

No one knows how long they have got. The older you are the more experience you bring to the table and the greater urgency. The advice to older writers is exactly the same as advice to young ones -1 write if you love it and don't if you don't. 2 Good writing is good writing and if a publisher thinks they can make money out of you they will do so however old you are.