“I think it’s the kind of book most people are not interested in. Part of the interest is because I’m an old lady.”
~ Helen H. Santmyer, author of … And the Ladies of the Club
I need a writing support group, and so I went in search of some writers who blog. I know young colleagues and friends who want to write professionally just as I do. But the operative word here is YOUNG. While I very much enjoy reading their writing, and I can learn a lot from their experiences, I also want to find some people like me. Old.er.
To find an “online” support group similar to the ones enjoyed by my young writer friends, I googled “older writers.” Maybe I didn’t search out enough pages because I only found topics ABOUT older writers: Who are better writers? Oldsters or Youngsters; growing discrimination against older writers because they aren’t attractive enough (I’m serious); contests for writers age 50+; how writing keeps the aged busy and staves off Alzheimer’s; etc. Kind of discouraging search results.
That isn’t to say I haven’t found a little encouragement. Efrem Sigel – author, journalist, and editor – shares advice for older writers, including this tidbit: “Older writers have less time in terms of years left, but they have a precious advantage: life experience.” Heartening? Well, sort of.
I’ll keep looking. I know that people my age write because I’ve found their blogs. But there doesn’t seem to be MANY or ANY older aspiring writers who blog about writing. And who can blame them? I mean we only have so much energy, and if we expend it on posting blog entries versus writing pages for novels (like I am doing), we may meet the reaper before we ever publish!
I am, however, inspired by Helen Hooven Santmyer who published her best seller in 1982 at age 87. She was 69-years-old when she started … And the Ladies of the Club; and her second novel Farewell Summer was published 2 years after her death.
I also realize many older writers do NOT embrace the Internet world like younger writers. Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winner and one of my favorite adolescent lit authors, still writes his novels in long hand. On her website, Maeve Binchy, an Irish writer I adore, writes, “I’m always happy to hear from you, but I’m not altogether confident with technology. If you’d like to write to me, you can send letters to me.” (Is there anyone who still writes letter?)
Nevertheless, I continue to search because I’d want to hear what my Baby Boomer generation has to say about their writing experiences, especially those who are neophytes in the write-to-publish world.
If you have stumbled onto this blog and know of some writer/bloggers who are a little long in the tooth, could you please point me in the write right direction? (That error was purely Freudian!)