Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Age and Writing. Does it Matter?

 Do you feel old?

LOL. Let me rephrase. Do you ever look at young writers today and feel envy? Or are you a young writer wishing you had more life experience? Or are you young with life experience and have the best of both worlds? *winks*

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. It’s weird. The older I get, the younger I feel. Does that make sense? But on the other hand, I see these young writers who are 20, 21, landing awesome agents and I’m floored. It’s fantastic. I’m proud of them—but it’s crazy to me that they’re accomplishing so much at a young age.

I didn’t start writing until I was 28. A huge part of me wishes I’d discovered writing sooner. I could be so much further in the industry than I am. But then the other part of me is happy for the times when I wasn’t part of the world. I feel like I’ve lived ten different lives and now get to apply them to paper.

Life experience is key to delving into characters, right? To digging deep into the emotional grit of a story and bringing life to the page? Not sure… I know that’s how it works for me. So how do these teens/young guns do it?

I got my start on inkpop.com, where I was surrounded by teens and their talent amazed me. I think it’s AWESOME that young people are writing. Such a healthy outlet. I’ve changed a lot in the last ten years, and I definitely don’t think that I would’ve been as talented as they are at their age.

I wasn’t a reader growing up. In fact, I loathed it. I’d much rather have spent my time sweating in the dance studio. So it’s almost comical that writing has become my obsession/passion.

Where were you ten years ago? Did you see yourself where you are now? What’s your take on age and writing? There are certainly benefits to being both old(er) and young.

***Oh! And it's my six month blogiversary! I've loved this new bloggy/writer world. You guys are amazing. 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

35 comments:

  1. From where I stand, thirty-one is really young! (And happy belated birthday.)
    Ten years ago I had no idea I would ever write again, that I would have two books out, that I would even be blogging! Wish I had youth's energy but I don't regret the wisdom that comes with age.
    At least that's what I keep telling myself.
    You started writing when it was right for you, so no regrets!

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  2. I'm 29, and I feel much older than my age half the time and much younger than my age the other half. I never, ever feel my age. I wonder why that is? Of course, what is 29 supposed to feel like, anyway?

    I started writing when I was about 8. But I didn't start writing seriously until I was 26. I look back at the mss I wrote just three years ago and am floored I've come as far as I have. More power to the young-ins who do what they do so well, but I agree: life experience counts for quite a bit. Then again, kids today have opportunities galore, so...

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    1. P.S. Happy belated birthday! Hope it was a GREAT day!

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  3. I'M WRITING THIS SENTENCE IN ALL CAPS IN CASE YOUR EYESIGHT HAS DECLINED WITH AGE... :)

    I have to say, I really agree with you on this one, as I, too didn't get started until "later" (I was thirty-three) and also wish I had of figured it out - but at least we have! (None of this death-bed whining that we could have been a contender :)

    Happy Birthday and may all your wishes (especially any current ones) come true :)

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  4. I'm 32. I'm like you, in some ways I feel younger the older I get, but in other ways, it's the opposite.

    I'm not where I thought I would be at 32 when I was 22. I think I'm okay with that though.

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  5. happy blog anniversary!! and happy birthday!
    I am loving 50!! life doesn't begin till 50...

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  6. May I just say... HAPPY BIRTHDAY again! You're one of my favorite peeps girl! Just love ya to death!

    And... yes - I'm totally envious of those young writers that are rocking it. I wish I would have had more vision and motivation at a younger age. But that's also what motivates me to write. Because I want my kids to realize (earlier in life than I did) that they can do whatever they set their mind to! :)

    HUGS MORG!!!

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  7. Happy Birthday and Blogiversary, Morgan! *Hugs* Ten years ago? I was in high school with no plans to write professionally. Funny how things change. :)

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday :) I turned 36 in March and I decided I get smarter the older I get, but not necessarily a better speller.

    Ten years ago I didn't even know I wanted to write.

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  9. Hope you had a great birthday! <3

    I am often astounded by the talent of some very young people out there! It is amazing to me that they can write with such knowledge - but then - maybe they already have a lot of life experience. I know I went through a lot as a kid.

    Ten years ago, I thought I wanted to write, but I was too busy having tons of fun with my friends! I was a karaoke queen ten years ago LOL!

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  10. Happy Birthday Morgan, and yes as the old saying goes - You are as only as old as you feel. Somedays I feel ancient, other days I'm bubbling with the energy of a teenager! Maturity is another matter entirely!So not going there!

    I too, wish that I had started writing at an earlier age, but then again I would not have been ready to do so.

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  11. Happy birthday/blogoversary!

    You and I seem to be on parallel paths. I turn 30 next month and I didn't start writing until a few years ago. I hated writing growing up (although I did love to read) and now I can't seem to fit enough writing into my day.

    Oh, and if you want to feel old, try walking across a college campus. Half of the undergrads I see I'm like, "What are you, 13? Did your mommy drive you to campus?"

    I guess I'm getting crotchety in my old age.

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  12. Happy Belated, Morgan! :)
    I totally know what you mean about writing and life experience. I only started really writing this past summer, but I'm not sure if I could have really started sooner. Possibly, but I don't know if I was ready. Ten years ago I was still trying to sort out my life and doing a pretty lousy job of it. Fastforward ten years and I'm mostly comfortable with who I am and what I can do.

    I definitely get envious when I hear about young folk landing agents and getting book deals, but I guess I feel that it's never really too late to get started and to maybe have the same success——>even at almost 34. O_o

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  13. I honestly think, aside from the writing, that I am exactly where I wanted to be ten years ago. I'm 27, and at age 17 all I wanted was to graduate, get married, and have a family. It didn't happen exactly like that, but I'm here now. I never would have predicted that I'd choose to write though. I was always the reader. But I'm glad I'm here now. Great thoughts Morgan :-)

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  14. No way, you look maybe 21. Seriously, you are gorgeous! But I know what you mean, I didn't get serious about writing until last year at 27, but I don't think it's ever too late to start being a great writer!

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  15. Happy birthday! I hope 31 isn't too old to succeed because I'm about 6 months older than you! Things happen when people are ready. Some people peak early, others later in life.

    I've actually been writing fiction since I was old enough to hold a pen, so that probably makes me a lot more worse off than you! At the end of the day, you're only in competition with yourself and the only failure is giving up.

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  16. I think your past and how different your life was ten years ago is what's making you such an amazing writer now. I think the ballet world and the writing world, though so different, are very similar......oh and I've never thought of you as old in the writing world! Maybe that's because I see Dorothy Rae still popping out books ;) Haha! Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!

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  17. I guess I feel about the right age. I feel like I'm mature enough and have enough life behind me, but that I'm not too old to have a successful career. I'm 25. On the other hand, I do feel this pressure to get published soon or it will be too late. I think we all feel it, though I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've been working toward this literally my whole life. I've wanted to write since I was in the second grade. This is my fourth novel and I feel like I've finally latched onto THE ONE (not in a romantic sense, though I do feel my hubby is the One, but in the sense of, "This book is the one I want to publish.") Now I just need to stop dragging my feet and letting other excuses win. I just need to do it and forget about my age, or what I've written before, or what stage my writer friends are in, or anything else. It's harder than it seems.

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  18. I am so jealous of all the time young writers have to learn and develop their craft. I have a couple of sons who are also aspiring authors and I keep telling them to get with it. Tha it's important to
    put out a lot of work. Writing is one of those things where you have to do it to get good at it. You can read and read all you want about the craft but it's not real until you practice it. I love that my sons are inspired by my puny efforts.

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  19. I'm 40. I don't get jealous at young writers. I get jealous of people who have tons of money. So yeah...I'm jealous of the Romneys...not some 21-year-old that has a book deal. I'm jealous of the people who can go to $50,000 a plate dinners and hob know with presidential candidates. Now if there's a young writer that has a $2 million dollar book deal...I'd be jealous of that. At my present rate of pay, it would take me 40 years to make $2 million dollars and they got paid that in an advance.

    I guess that makes me sound like all I think about is money. That isn't true. But I came to a conclusion some time ago that money in this world makes everything smooth and it allows us freedom to do whatever we wants. So yeah...money in my opinion is the only thing to be jealous of.

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  20. I've been writing since I was 4 years old, since I learnt how to write, only a year after I started reading. I was about 11 when my very early serious writing days began, and I've been evolving ever since. Part of me is upset I gave up querying way too soon in my early twenties, but I realize it wasn't time yet to be published. I know I've been writing way longer than a lot of people who've been published recently, and have had so much extra time to learn how to write better, edit my own work, plot sagas, etc., and that could come in handy and distinguish me from people who've only been writing for a few years. Everything arrives at the right time.

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  21. Ten years ago, my hubby told me I should write a book. I snorted. I mean, seriously! What in the world made him think that I could ever write a book?! It took another six years before I believed what he'd believed all along. :) I say write when you're ready!

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  22. We are totally twins. I think we need to talk to our mom's and see if we were adopted because our life stories are so similar. haha

    Anyway, sister, I never, ever thought I'd be writing. I'm glad I am though. It is what keeps me going. I love it. Want more of it.

    Well, Happy Day After Your Birthday! You rock!

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  23. I started at 32 - so yeah, I get the age thing.
    Part of me wishes I'd started sooner, and the rest of me is glad for the experience and confidence, AND being able to spend time with my babies before I lost myself in front of the computer... lol

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  24. Happy Belated Birthday, dear friend. I also started writing at 28 and wouldn't have it any other way. Had I tried 10 years ago, I know that I wouldn't have finished. I also wouldn't have the life experiences to pull emotion from. So I think God steered me in this direction at exactly the right time for me. So let those early 20s have their young success. I plan to get mine too!

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  25. I haven't even been writing for a full year yet, haha! I'm definitely feeling the inexperienced end of things.

    Ten years ago I was still just trying to figure out how to get the boys in school to stop snapping my bra strap.

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  26. Oh crap, can't believe I was talking about dragonflies and didn't know it was your birthday! Happy (super belated) Birthday!

    As for the age thing, well I don't know. 10 years ago I was in a different time zone! The only thing I regret is that no one encouraged my writing as a kid. I did it because I liked writing but was never encouraged to pursue it.

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  27. This is my first serious pursuit of writing, and I'm 39, hitting 40 in a couple of months. I don't regret it though, because I think it will bring depth, experience, and maturity to my writing that I KNOW I didn't have at 20. That writing would have annoyed people with the know it all, I'm invincible theme that pervaded my personality at the time. But that's just me:)

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  28. Happy Blogthday!
    Ten years ago I was back in Europe, fancying about America and wondering whether the Brooklyn Bridge actually existed or was simply a story people from the countryside made up to spice life up a bit ;)
    I believe writing requires life experience, so aging should actually be a good thing. Yet, life experience is useless if we're not sensitive enough to interpret it emotionally and not just rationally. On the other hand, I believe that sensitivity does not necessarily need personal and direct life experience. I believe the sensitive person will be able to take from the outside and, thanks to their sensitivity, turn that experience into a personal one.

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  29. Happy Birthday! Young or old, I think its how you feel! It's kind of like the grass is greener mentality. Right? I try not to do this. :)

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  30. Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I look at 'young' writers and wish I would have spent my time more wisely so I could be further in the writing world than I am now :) Oh well, things happen for a reason and the right time, right?!
    Hope you have a great b-day weekend :)

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  31. I find myself in that 3rd option, Morgan. Some life experience with more left to be learned. Happy Birthday! :)

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  32. I'm 33 and I've been reading since I was 4. I can't remember when I started writing, but I'm pretty sure it was before my 10th birthday. However, I'm only now looking into publishing. I'm kind of glad I never tried to publish some of my earlier stuff, as looking back now, it wasn't that good. lol

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  33. Happy belated 31st birthday! And happy 6 month blogiversary! Ten years ago I was still in school and did not see myself as a writer. I LOVED reading, but since I did really well at school I assumed I had to use my brain to do something science-y with my life. Don't know where that assumption came from... Hmm. I enjoyed the sciences (still enjoy teaching maths) but I've realized I can be science-y AND creative :-)
    I do sometimes look back and wish I'd "discovered" writing back at university when I had more time to do it... But whatever!

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