Are Older Writers Better?
It took me almost forty years to decide that I wanted to call myself a writer. My profession for the past twenty plus years has been as an educator of the English language. Basically, I still found a way to be involved with words, though not in the way I initially imagined. To be fair, I did manage to write academically here and there.
Still, it is something else to have the freedom and flexibility to be a writer without having to conform to what might sell or suit some style guide. Of course, the fact I have yet to sell anything I’ve written could be telling. But, thankfully I don’t have massive pressure to do so either. That’s not to say that isn’t a goal in my writing but I’ve already written about that in another post.
Instead, I contemplate the beauty of finally being old enough to feel that I have the experience and clout to share what I’ve learned in life with a high probability of being taken seriously.
It is not often we hear of a successful literary writer who made it at a young age or expressed something universally relatable. One exception might be Amanda Gorman who has been celebrated for her youth and rare rise to fame, but she has yet to be classified as literary — no offense intended as she is amazing. So, what is it about the words of the aged?
I imagine in the days of fireside storytelling, it was always the middle aged to elderly who weaved the tales into the night skies. No matter how much we search for the fountain of youth, there really is no way to shortcut time and the effects of an aging brain to bring forth life’s lessons in narrative form.
The truth is that I’ve always looked forward to being older and no longer being mistaken as someone a decade younger. Becoming the stereotype of a middle-aged “obattalion” or “ajuma” in Japan and South Korea, respectively, has been an aspiration rather than avoidance.
Because there is freedom, rebellion, and astonishment in being able to say things like they are without worrying about image, offense, or what others think about me. I’m now old enough that if someone doesn’t like what I say, they can walk away with no hard feelings.
So, it’s not that being older makes me, or one, a better writer. Rather, it’s that age makes it less dire for others to like or care about what is written.
At least, that’s what I think — and it’s OK, or even great, if you disagree!
How do you feel about age when it comes to opening 📖 the sunshine ☀️ into your heart ❤️ to tell the stories📚 you have waiting to be told?