Since launching my writing career, I am blessed with the privilege of getting to meet so many writers from all walks of life, all with a story to tell. As I have an upcoming workshop coming up at the Southern California Writers Conference, I began to ponder how many faces––young and old¬¬––I get to see at these wonderful events. One bit of hesitation I tend to hear from those with more, let’s call it, life experience than younger writers is that they feel it’s too late for them to take the plunge into becoming an author. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. As I plan out my 3-day crash course on writing with those who have followed their dreams and those just beginning, I thought it would be worth reminding budding authors that it is never too late to become a writer.
The list of authors who got their start “late” is extensive. I happen to be a proud member of that list. Yes, the likes of notable authors such as Anthony Burgess, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen DeWitt, William S. Burroughs, and J.K. Rowling didn’t begin writing till well after their 20s. This alone, is an important consideration for those who are worried it’s simply too late for them. I can recall a man, in his 90s, who told me he felt they were his most productive days. Simply put, there is no “right age” to begin.
If, despite the empirical evidence, one is worried about a late start I have some good advice. For those who have a story to tell–something which applies to 87% of the populations–a writer’s conference might be just the spark that they have been waiting for. Why? Well, it’s a multi-day event which brings together countless writers of all ages, backgrounds, skill levels and experience. They get an opportunity to meet new people, discuss ideas, share strategies and gain the confidence they need to tackle their writing goals. Expert panels provide the veteran insight necessary to design and move their stories forward. Workshops expose them to specialized knowledge they can carry into their own work. The social setting also provides a support system and network that is incredibly motivating during and after the event.
SCWC is a fabulous conference with a dedicated, friendly staff. Year after year it is a truly wonderful event. As most every state hosts writers conferences, it’s easy to find one nearby with a simple google search.
Remember, if someone has a story inside of them, they’re never too late to share it with the world.
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