Does The Age Of A Writer Matter?

Most people who write have always had the urge to write from the minute they learned to read or write. I think I was creating stories orally first and then started writing them down from about the age of six. First of all, it was fairy stories, then adventure stories, moving on to teenage angst and romance. As we progress through life our writing changes to reflect our experiences and learning.

I always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was conscious, I felt that inexplicable pull to tell a story, to create a scene, to leave a reader wanting to know what would happen next. When life’s responsibilities came knocking, i.e. I had a family to support, my career as a published author was put on hold. However, I knew that nothing would block the path to my dream: to be a full-time writer in control of my career and destiny. – Warren Adler

New, successful young writers are celebrated and publishers actively seek new young talent.

The atmosphere was relaxed, the tone conspiratorial; cloud-filtered sunlight softened the room. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Then someone asked that question about age. Are you more likely to take on a writer who is under 35? Eh; well; yes.

“The fact is the market finds younger, first-time writers a more attractive sell.”

Ouch! At least half the attendees were on the wrong side of that line, some more wrong than others. That flickering flame of hope, on which all writers’ festivals feed, sputtered then. Just as well it was Sunday and there was nothing left but a reading by the local poet. – Fiona Gartland

It is great to support and encourage young writers but opportunities in writing shouldn’t be ageist as we all have a unique writing voice and tales to tell. Many older people had to put their writing on the ‘long finger’ as they were working and bringing up families, and this refers especially to women, who traditionally took on the ‘caring’ role in the family.

Older writers are fully aware that they might not have much time left to achieve their dream of writing and publishing a book, so feel they don’t have time to be hanging around for a publisher to pick them up and decide to go down the self-publishing route. In the last few years the internet has opened up new opportunities and markets for all ages.

There has never been a better time in our culture than now to become a writer after fifty. The online world opens up opportunities that never existed for older writers even a decade or so in the past.

You can create a blog, self-publish, build an email army of followers, and today’s traditional publishers are open to authors that are not twenty-one and the next big thing in writing. – Thomas Plummer

So, whatever age you are, believe in yourself, your dream, and your writing and we can all learn from each other.

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