Is it too late for me to become a writer? This question is likely to be just one of a long stream of worries and doubts that can plague the mind of a would-be creative. Creatives worry about everything. Is my work any good? Is my work getting worse? Was this success just a one-off? Will I ever repeat my last success? Should I even bother trying?
We have to understand that part of the challenge in being a creative is overcoming these doubts, at least long enough to produce something of value. It’s also important to realise the part these doubts play in fuelling our procrastination. They deter us from making an attempt and encourage us to judge the budding beginnings of something new far too harshly.
Ultimately, the only way to find out how good a writer you can be is by starting to write. Here are some of the reasons why it’s never too late to start trying:
Age Leads to Experience
The good thing to remember about writing, is that it can only get richer with age and experience. At 22 you know pretty much nothing about the world, about love, about loss and all of the other crazy emotions we come to know through a life well lived. As you advance in years, your own life experience and that of those around you informs your perspective on the world. This in turn gives your writing a greater sense of reality and depth.
Plenty of Other Writers Did It
There are plenty of world famous writers who only made their names in later life. Bram Stoker wrote his first big seller, Dracula, at the age of 50. He then continued to write prolifically until his death at the age of 64. Charles Bukowski quit his job at the age of 49 to devote himself to writing full time and Laura Ingalls Wilder only published the first of her Little House series at the grand old age of 64. These people prove that you don’t need to be at your physical prime to write or have had any previous writing experience.
You Can Self Publish
In these days of self-publication, you don’t have to send a copy of your work to all relevant publishers and hope for the best. You can take matters into your own hands and get your book out there, available for real people to read. It’s never been so easy to become a published writer. Of course, you’ll need some marketing expertise and a well edited book on your side. But your writing doesn’t have to match a set of prerequisites defined by a publishing house.
There’s Nothing to Lose
You don’t need a lot of fancy, expensive equipment to try your hand at writing. All you need is a computer and a desire to write. With this in mind, there’s nothing to lose by giving it a go no matter what your age is. Before you quit your day job put aside a little time every evening to writing. Write on your lunchbreak. Go on a writing retreat during your time off. You may be amazed at just what you are able to create.
Lots of people dream of becoming a writer. One of the key things that distinguishes those who dream and those who do, is faith in their abilities. Another is the willingness to put in hard graft to hone that nascent writing skill. Put your worries to one side, pick up a pen and get to writing. It’s the only way to find out what you’re truly capable of.