Elizabeth Gilbert and I don’t have a lot in common. She’s widely travelled; I haven’t ventured beyond Canada and the USA. She has published books; I haven’t (yet). She’s blonde; I’m brunette. She’s young; I’m, uh, not. You get the picture.
So when I read her comment on age as it relates to writing I thought, “Oh, puleeeze!” She began by saying, “If you always wanted to write, and now you are A Certain Age, and you never got around to it, and you think it’s too late…do please think again. I watched Julia Glass win the National Book Award for her first novel, “The Three Junes”, which she began writing in her late 30’s.” Since when is anyone in writing circles considered old in their late thirties? Or their forties or fifties, for that matter? Success in one’s later years may be an exception but it does happen. It happens in many of life’s arenas.
I smiled when I came across this video of Susan Boyle singing when she was 22. Her talent was obvious then, but it took her 25 years of persistence to gain recognition for it.
My aunt has been an artist for many years but has begun making beautiful hasti-notes and calendars from her original watercolour paintings in a new creative endeavour she calls “Never Too Late”. She is in her eighties.
To give Elizabeth Gilbert credit, in her article she went on to say, “It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world – at any age. At least try.”
At least we agree on that. Regardless of your age, step out boldly, willing to fail in your attempt to succeed.