Monday, 14 January 2013

Anno Domini

All the way through my journey of discovery through the world of publishing, I have been warned that I am too old. That the ceiling for new writers is forty, or even younger. Well, I have just been interviewed by a journalist, and she didn't ask for my age. My agent never asked, the editors at the two publishers that made me offers didn't ask. Admittedly, my picture doesn't suggest a youthful writer, and I'm certainly not hiding my age, but still. It turns out, it's the book they are interested in, after all. So, if you are any age at all, and are prepared to work at getting published, age should not be a problem. It's writing the right book that should be the focus.

The other reason I'm thinking about this, is the pension system will be different for people like me when I get there. I decided to look up when I would be eligible for, you know, an actual old age pension. Fourteen years time? I've just taken up a new career, it seems astonishing that I might get a bus pass in fourteen years time. Thirteen and a half years, actually, and my husband will get his the year before. I'll be living with a pensioner by 2025. Blimey. But I don't feel any different. OK, I creak a bit (my back has been bad since my late twenties, though, so I can't put that down to age). I can't say I'm enjoying the first stages of the menopause either, it's like PMS only for months at a time. But basically, I'm as childish and excitable as I ever was. I'm also planning to deliver three books this year, two already finished just needing polishing, and one in first draft waiting for its re-writes. If I worked up to my 'pension date', assuming I am able to sell any more books, I could easily deliver a couple of dozen books by the time the rocking chair beckons.

There's hope for all ages, then. Last year, some years after reaching retirement age, my father-in-law decided to write about his experience as an acclaimed cartoonist in children's comics, and I helped edit the book for him to self publish. The book is lovely, and a reminder that you can start your writing at any age. It's available from Lulu.  
  

6 comments:

  1. My husband is younger than me. A few days ago, I told him I'd be done with graduate school and hopefully teaching some classes right about the time I turn 50. He jumped as if he had gotten a little electric shock. If I keep writing now at only a book a year, I could have 20 more novels written by the time I'm 65. And I could teach for 15 years before hitting that magical retirement age. Fifteen years is plenty - that's how long my first career lasted.

    I would prefer to read the stories of an older person that's experienced life a bit.

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    1. I can see myself writing for the rest of my days, just maybe more slowly! Good luck with your course, I'm sure you'll love it.

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  2. Hi Rebecca, great post. I'm considered 'over the hill' in this venture, as well, but my spirit is high and my drive is strong. I keep telling myself I WILL SUCCEED. Your post reaffirms my decision to continue my journey. Thanks! I also read through your other posts. Great blog. I've joined and am now following. I look forward to your future posts.

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    1. Thank you! I honestly believe persistence and drive are the most important part of getting published. Loads of people have the storytelling gene, but it takes hard work to keep learning and practicing until we make it, so I agree, YOU WILL SUCCEED! Am following your blog, too!

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  3. Great post. I'm in sight of 50 myself, but I honestly don't think it matters when it comes to being (or becoming) a writer. And if the attitude anywhere is that it does matter, we'll just have to those attitudes, won't we? As you say, it's the books that matter.

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    1. It is just the books! It was nice to not be even asked, though. Thank you for visiting.

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