Friday, July 12, 2019

Writing: Am I Too Old To Start?

I celebrated a birthday a few days ago. How many, you ask? Let's just say that I've been getting mail offers from AARP for more then a couple of decades. (I'm now getting them from Retirement Communities, which sort of upsets me). How long have I been writing? My first book, which was written after the death of my first wife, Cynthia, was published in 2006, and I'm proud to say that The Tender Scar is in its second edition and continues to help thousands who have suffered a similar loss. But I started writing it shortly after her death, in 1999. Was I too old to write? I never considered it.

Almost against my will,  I began writing fiction. I acquired first an agent and then a publishing contract. My first novel, Code Blue, was published in 2010. Since then I've published a total of 12 novels and 6 novellas, the latest of which is Bitter Pill. That's eighteen books in the past nine years. No wonder I'm tired. And I still don't consider myself an accomplished writer.

All this is to say, "You're never too old to write." Will you be published? Maybe, maybe not. Will your writing affect others? It will always affect at least one person--you. Is the effort worth it? I think so. Not only does it, as my uncle used to say, "keep me off the streets and out of pool halls," but it paints a picture of how God impacts the lives of everyone--the faithful, the fallen, the seekers. And if it does that, it's served a great purpose.

How about you? Is there something you'd like to do but you haven't started because you're too old? Or have you started something despite your age? Let me know.


Jan Cline said...

Thank you!!! I didn't start writing fiction till late in life. Kept at it, learning the craft and seeking an agent or publisher. I gave up seeking, but kept writing and Indie published my first 2 novels. Then by a divine appointment I was connected to a legitimate, awesome small press publisher who wanted my books. (a real small press - not vanity) That's at age 65. Do I think about my age as a liability? Sure, once in a while. But what else am I going to do...sell Avon? I feel blessed to be doing what I'm doing. No reason to stop. I hope other more mature folks will not let age stop them. You are an inspiration, Richard.

Richard Mabry said...

Jan, thanks for your comment and for sharing your story. As you'll find from the author's notes of Bitter Pill, my latest novella, I had given up writing when God intervened (as I feel sure He did). Thanks for sharing with us.

Patricia Bradley said...

I speak often to an older audience and my message never varies. If you're breathing, you're never too old to learn something new. My mother learned to program a VCR so she could watch her favorite soap opera and then she learned to text when she was 90. She had an active FB page when she passed away three years later. My first book released five days after I turned 69. So, if you have a dream, go for it!

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, wise words, borne out by experience. C'mon, folks. You're never too old.