Celebrating Older Writers and Bloggers: the Late Bloomers

We Are All Getting Older

I am getting older. So are you. There’s naff all we can do about it. However, what we can do is keep on keeping on.

This post isn’t intended as a ‘Kick the youngsters’ arses to make way for the old gits more flabby derrieres’ attack. I’m not into doing down the younger generation, even if their music is shite and they think being retro is cool. Kids, I wore it first. That makes me cool, or whatever you young ‘uns say.

Bloody hell, I am really showing my age here.

Recently, as I found myself going into my 40s at what feels like lightning speed, I’ve come to realise that there is no longer ’All the time in the world’. I am getting older.

I know you fab people in your 60s and upward are smiling at the stupid 40-something and her crisis. It’s not that. I’ve become more aware that I am really no longer that young girl who thought the world would be amazing once she turned 18, as long as 18 was where she remained.

Well, bad news for younger me. Being 18 was okay but it wasn’t the Proper Grown Up Adult ™ experience I thought it would be. I also carried on growing after that. I got older. It happens apparently. Oh, to be young and bloody stupid, or could that be. perpetually drunk once it’s finally legal to go to the pub?

Covering the Cover Photo

Cat writer - older writers
Author cover photo? Nailed it.

Writing is a great gig for the older person. Unlike talent shows or pop star contracts that demand that you must be young and beautiful, we can hide behind the words. Yes, there’s the awkward author cover photo if you have to do it.

I have decided that I’m either going to pull the most unattractive face I possibly can whilst decked out in bad ‘80s fashions, use a cat picture instead (obligatory for writers) or nick someone’s profile picture off a dating site. We all do it. No? Just me? Awkward.

The Long Slog to Becoming a Writer

It took me far too long to get started with writing. Life got in the way but mainly it was due to a complete lack of confidence in my writing ability.

I was that cockwomble who told the world that I had a book in me. How it found space alongside the shitload of cheese, chocolate and carb delights in there, is beyond me though.

That book may have been tucked away under the Dairy Milk gut but it wasn’t shifting. Okay, this is starting to sound gross. I didn’t literally crap a book out when I started. I’m losing readers right now, aren’t I?

I didn’t write because initially an English teacher made me feel my writing skills weren’t up to much. I won a blogging contest writing about this experience *shifts slowly backwards in shame at the self-promotion* : Crushed by a Cheeseburger

After the rejection from Miss H, I decided I couldn’t write.

Then one day I saw the light and it shone upon me and I walked into it and… Bullshit. I gave myself a kick up the jacksy one day, said I was going to write and I did. That’s as basic as it was.

There’s No Age Restriction Upon Following Your Dreams

Rhino and unicorn dreams - older writersEnough of my life story. This post is about celebrating those who decide to write and/or blog later in life.

You deserve to be celebrated.

You made a big step and you’re probably doing it in the midst of life stuff going on around you.

You are doing it because you dared to follow a dream and not believe those who tell us that dreams are just for kids.

You are never too old to dream. I wrote about that once *shifts back even further at another promo link* : The Ageing Guide to Continuing Dreaming

Authors Who Started Later in Life

  • Bram Stoker was aged 50 when Dracula was published
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first in the Little House on the Prairie series when she was 64
  • Frank McCourt was 66 when Angela’s Ashes was published
  • Charles Bukowski was offered a publishing deal at the age of 49
  • Raymond Chandler began writing when he was 44 years old

They did it. Us fellow ‘oldies’ can do it too.

If anyone ever mocks you for writing at your age just tell them that Bram Stoker created one of the world’s most famous horror characters ever when he was an old duffer. You don’t want to mess with the bloke who is besties with a vampire. Therefore they can back off. Older writers bite.

We Are Warming Up, Not Extinguishing

Kazuo Ishiguro (author and someone who should know better), got it wrong when he said,

‘There’s something very misleading about the literary culture that looks at writers in their 30s and calls them ‘budding’ or ‘promising,’ when in fact they’re peaking.’

Fire - older writerWith all respect, you cheeky git, from our 30s onward, we are just getting warmed up.

We have accrued masses of life experience.

We have lived life, witnessed much, felt things in abundance, watched others’ lives, and been through years of observation and experience.

If we come to writing and blogging with all of these due to being older, we are winning.

We have not peaked. We are just getting started, like a pressure cooker that has been slowly boiling away ideas, only to let them out full steam, along with our imaginations. There’s a fire right here.

Do we give up then, Ishiguro, before we’ve even started because you dictate that we have peaked and passed our prime? Interesting that you’ve carried on writing after your 30s…

There is a Place for Writers and Bloggers of Any Age

I need to make it clear that I am not being ageist. I do not think that the literary market should be saturated by the purple rinse brigade.

I believe there’s a place for everyone regardless of their age. I judge writing on its quality and whether it grabs me as a reader, rather than the age of the writer or blogger. I often don’t have a clue how old they are anyway. Why should it always matter?

Sometimes knowing a writer’s age is useful in terms of relating to them and their experience, particularly for memoirs, but it’s not always important.

Young people sometimes have blogs for their peer age group. That’s not to say that older bloggers cannot impart wisdom to the younger generation but it would be slightly odd if they were to start dressing like them and offering fashion tips when the blogger is in their ‘90s. Go Granny with your bad high-fashion self. However, if that’s what she wants to do; do it!

Younger bloggers can relate to older readers and vice versa.

Blogs are either about specific niches/audiences, or, like me, not giving a damn how old the followers and readers are.

You’re all welcome here whatever age you are.

I don’t care if you’re barely out of nappies (although your parents might concerning the occasional fruity language) or you’re back in nappies due to old age issues. I appreciate every single one of you; nappy wearer or not.

So whether you’re a writer, blogger or venturing into something else, be proud of being a late bloomer. Better to be late to the party than not turn up at all. Although if there are no Twiglets or pineapple and cheese on sticks, then I must decline your invitation. I’m showing my age, aren’t I?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

16 comments on “Celebrating Older Writers and Bloggers: the Late Bloomers

  1. As the husband, I plan to take at least a large part of the credit for planting a size 11 up your bottom regarding writing.

    1. That’s a great way to put it Stacey!From one 40-something writer to another, I wish you well with your writing.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. This was terrific blog, Lisa. I am on round 2 of attempting my dream after burying it for close to 2 decades. Now I am back, I am focused & working on turning my goals into reality. Age is irrelevant in our profession.

  3. Thank you Lisa, I had concluded that the reason why my blogging was not getting anywhere was because I a 60 plus writer and that my content is not appealing to anyone. My not getting more views on my blog has discouraged me to even attempt a book.
    Your post has motivated me to still continue to dream. Thank you.

    1. You have an audience Mabel and they’re waiting to discover you! Keep going because you have so much to offer. I’m so pleased that my post inspired you to keep going. I feel honoured.

  4. Love this! Never too late – I think our life experiences just inform our writing and make it something different to what our young selves could have written. Not better necessarily, just different. And I quite like getting older – there is a certain thicker skin and different attitude that comes with it!

    1. The more time we spend on this planet it stands to figure that we will accrue more writing ideas. That’s if the little blighters will make themselves known!

  5. I started to Blog about food at 62 and, well I had to write about it so here I am almost 2 years later still doing it and loving it. Life is fun at 64 and more. I am

    1. I love that age isn’t a barrier for you either! It’s an asset not a hindrance. I’m pleased you found my blog as well. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Teresa!

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