Too young and too old to write

Should you write a memoir or autobiography? I’m 22 (and half) years old girl with nothing extraordinary to share with the world and still I had to answer this questions last weekend. Attending to university writing course and being the youngest there has its pros and cons. My views are fresh and ideas hopefully give something new to the fellow writers learning tricks and secrets of writing with me. But average age being 40 or over also means that I’m often left wondering if a person can be too young to be a writer.

Let’s talk about the 80s. I’m quiet because I wasn’t even born. 22 years. How could you write memories or share wise thoughts without enough experience in living? In fact, maybe writing anything is impossible. Maybe I should get a real job, write alone at home and wait ten more years before showing anyone my stories. It’s easy to sink to the despair. 

Maybe I’m too old. How could I start writing in my fifties? I have never traveled the world so there’s no way I can write a love story happening in Paris. Writing is impossible. No matter how old you’re, where you are from or what you have experienced. Writing is impossible and still, somehow so many people seem to be able to do it.

Did you know that many of the famous or not so famous writers have probably been a lot older, younger or middle-aged than you would guess! For making us all feel better (or even worse) here is a small list of writers and their ages:

  • Christopher Paolini, the author of fantasy series Eragon (one of my all-time favorite books having cool dragons), published the first book of Eragon when he was only 18 years old.
  • Stephen King published his first book Carrie at the age of 27 and his breakthrough book The Shining at the age of 30.
  • Haruki Murakami was 38 when he published his famous and also second book Norwegian Wood.
  • E. L. James became famous after publishing her first novel Fifty Shades of Grey that made us all gasp from horror or desire when she was 48 years old.
  • C. S. Lewis had written several books during his life but published the first novel of a world-famous series The Chronicles of Narnia when he was 52 years old.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien was 45 years old when The Hobbit Or There And Back Again book came out but when The Lord of the Rings was published he was already 62 years old.

I could continue the list towards even younger or older writers. Here we aren’t even talking about those people who write their own memoirs or biography. Anyone can start writing. It’s easier when you start at a younger age but isn’t that the case with everything. Writing is also a skill, the longer you practice the better you become. Usually, older writers are ready to give more effort and time to their practice than younger ones so the age doesn’t really matter. If you want to write, just write. Easy, huh?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
– Sylvia Plath


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