Keeping The Dream Alive

 As mentioned in my last blog, I came away from the Festival of Writing in York last weekend filled with enthusiasm and ideas: I was delighted to receive some helpful and positive feedback on my draft opening chapter and interest from a couple of agents in seeing more. A great result! But there was one thing that dismayed me a little and that was when I heard the story about a publisher saying they liked a debut novel but, on learning the author was over fifty-five, immediately turned it down.

This disappoints because I too am over fifty-five and still hoping to pursue my lifelong goal to become a published novelist. Sure I could’ve done it sooner but I already had a very successful and demanding career, plus a family to raise. Truth is I’ve been too busy enjoying life and having some great adventures. This is why I’ve only found time, until recently, to write short stories (many of which, incidentally, have been published in national weekly magazines, or won prizes).

At the festival, author Harry Bingham made a tongue-in-cheek joke that statistically we all had a better chance of making the GB Olympic Team than of getting published. But statistics can be misleading: realistically, at my age, if I wanted to be a finely honed athlete, or a professional footballer, I’d have to admit that, by now, the opportunity may have already passed. But there are loads of writers who make it later in life and I aim to join their ranks. I reckon I have at least twenty books in me and I’m not ready to let go of my dream just yet!

(Festival of Writing website:



Filed under Writing

4 responses to “Keeping The Dream Alive

  1. “But there are loads of writers who make it later in life and I aim to join their ranks”

    I agree. Richard Adams (the author of Watership Down) didn’t get published until he was in his 50’s.

    Starting at my age, if you apply the 10,000 hours rule, I will be somewhere in my (cough) 40’s (cough) 🙂 , before I can hope to be published consistently.

    Still, I am thankful that I’ve started learning my writing craft, whilst on the cusp of the internet age (and at the start of the epublishing era).

    • Thanks I believe you’re never too old or too young to start writing and nobody should be written off just because of their age – if you feel the urge to write go for it. The more you try the better at it you get.

  2. I’m shocked to hear that response. There are numerous examples of people who achieve success with their books later in life. Here’s an example that might make you feel better.

    • Thanks Debi – I love that story in your link and also take some comfort that 4 of the 6 short-listed for this year’s Man Booker prize are in their fifties or older!

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