This post is inspired by a Twitter thread by Susan Dennard in which she urges writers not to fall for the lie that if you’re not published by a certain age, you may as well give up. I talk about my age a lot on Twitter, not to brag about how awesome I am (I’m not saying I’m not awesome either) but because the idea that the world may be deprived of someone’s talent because of an imaginary deadline is unbearable to me.
There are already so many factors that control whether or not we get an agent and/or a book deal, such as timing, the market, the material etc, that it seems such a waste to believe that just because we’ve reached a certain age our dreams no longer stand a chance of being fulfilled.
I have so much respect for writers who are doing amazing work in their early twenties. I wish I had been that focused and driven and talented when I was that age. But, honestly, I wasn’t. I was a late bloomer, in education, career and just generally having my s**t together. But I still had big dreams. One of them was writing. But other ones like motherhood & starting my own business took precedence at the time. I’ve spent many nights over the past two decades agonizing over whether I would ever have an opportunity to fulfill my writing dreams. Looking back at my younger self I wish I could tell her not to worry, because dreams have a way of coming true when it’s their time, as long as you don’t give up along the way. Sometimes that happens and that’s okay too. We all change as we get older and our dreams can change too. Some of mine certainly did and in the end I realized that those dreams were not right for me after all.
So, if you’re a writer dealing with life’s realities and now is just not the right time to focus on your dreams, just hold on to them really tight and remember that’s it’s never too late to tell your stories. We’ll be here waiting.