I did not yearn to be a writer when I was little or even into adulthood.
But then again, I never aspired to be an accountant either. The job evolved from being an eager worker and data entry proficiency. So it should not be surprising to me that writing evolved from a love of reading and extra time on my hands.
In 2013, I found myself unemployed for an extended period of time. You can job search for just so many hours in the day.
While playing on the computer I discovered a Harry Potter fanfiction site and read several pieces. Some good, some great and others, not so much. After a few days of reading, I thought to myself, “if they can do this… I certainly can.”
You see, there were chapter endings in the books I’d read or endings of a book, which I felt should have been written differently. This was my opportunity to correct them. I wrote a few chapters and had people comment that they liked it, which I was not expecting. This was a way for me to pass time and enjoy what I call, ‘playing with other people’s toys’, just in my own sandbox.
During this time, I had an idea come to me one morning as I lay in bed. I ignored it, because it wasn’t something which was fanfiction. Yet, this idea, not only refused to go away. It grew, and continued to grow. Dividing, multiplying into something, which refused to be ignored. I left it in my head, not writing anything down.
Finally, I decided I wanted to write this thing.
But one of my big fears was… Did I start writing too late? At the time I had already past that big 5-0 mark. Would anyone read something written by someone who didn’t become a writer until the latter half of their life?
Its never too late to put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard!
Consider these authors:
Lee Child began writing at 40. You may have heard of his Jack Reacher series or seen a movie or two featuring Tom Cruise as the title character.
Others who began writing in their 40s: James A Michener, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen DeWitt, Marquis de Sade. While Bram Stoker dabbled until 43 before focusing, Dracula was published at age 50.
Even older: Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty when she was 51 and Richard Adams and Donald Ray Pollock began in their mid-50s. Angele’s Ashes by Frank McCourt was published when he was 66, while Harriet Doerr and Mary Wesley both published in their mid-70’s