Too Old to Write? Proof the Answer is “NO!”

Today I am sharing blogging space with Madeline Sharples on her blog. It is my hope that you’ll follow me over to Madeline’s to talk about when a person becomes too old to write. I think you already know my answer!

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Lately I’ve been asked by friends and family what I’m doing with my time in retirement. Since I left my position with a local law firm in 2006, I’ve spent a lot of time with expensive surgeons who have corrected my eyesight and repaired a lot of bones. I discount those months as paid medical leave (paid by me and my retirement fund) and explain that I’m at last fulfilling a lifelong dream of writing.

The responses I have received are jarring, startling and some even painful:

  • Aren’t you too old to be writing a book?  (Excuse me?)
  • At this stage in your life, do you really want to deal with the burden of writing and then publishing a book? (I really love it!)
  • What if no one wants to publish a book by a retired legal secretary? (I beg your pardon?)
  • What do you have to write about? (Stories – lots of stories.)

And the list goes on.  I try to smile and make polite comments. However, I didn’t realize there was an age limit on when a person could write a book.

At a workshop I attended last winter, one of the workshop coordinators took a moment to announce a regular attendee was no longer with us. (Read the remainder of the post here . . .)

9 thoughts on “Too Old to Write? Proof the Answer is “NO!”

  1. The things that come out of people’s mouths sometimes really does make you wonder…lol. I’m encouraged by stories of people writing in their later years. I still remember hearing of one woman who published her first book in her 90’s. Gives me great incentive to keep trying and not to let naysayers bother me so much. My own mother doesn’t particularly care for my poetry, but I keep writing it anyone.

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    1. It seems a lot of folks engage their voice before they engage their mind. 🙂 I love hearing stories about writers who are published well into their 80s or still writing at 90. It is my dream!

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  2. One of the best examples of a writer succeeding in her golden years is Mildred Armstrong Kalish now in her 90s, according to biographical data. Her memoir Little Heathens was published in 2007, so do the math: She must have being working on the manuscript in her mid-80s. Studies show that using brain power as we age is a great way to stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Too old to write–that’s poppycock!

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    1. Mildred and my now deceased workshop friend could have been critique partners! I haven’t read her memoir but must. Loved your poppycock!!! 🙂

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  3. I wonder if most of the responses you quoted weren’t from people not yet retired? I belong to a peer learning group where everyone is 65+ a bunch of very busy people who do not sit around doing nothingthe problem I’m having with my writing is that my husband is retired and I’ve lost the quiet time to write.

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      1. well then they must not do anything interesting. Though I do tell people I’m a writer, most don’t get it, except for my artist friends 🙂

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