“At 36, he’s ancient,” observes a writer who’s chronicling Ryan Lochte’s long-shot bid to swim for Olympic gold.
Luckily for us, as writers, even if it takes us a while to get our work out into the world, there’s no limit to the creativity we can bring to our work or the success we can have.
“Ripeness is all” says Shakespeare, who surely knew a thing or two about creativity! Consider these writers who ripened slowly and went on to give the world the gifts of fabulous stories:
Toni Morrison was flirty when her first book, “The Bluest Eye” gained publication in 1970. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for “Beloved.”
Mark Twain’s first book, “The Innocents Abroad,” was published in 1869, when Twain was forty-one. It became an instant bestseller, prompting him to write “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” In all, he wrote twenty-eight books.
J.R.R. Tolkien published “The Hobbit” in 1937 at the age of 45, and went on to write “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.
Author and screenwriter Raymond Chandler’s first book, “The Big Sleep” was published in 1939 — he was fifty-one. He went on to develop a body of work that literally created the “hard boiled” detective story.
Annie Proulx’s writing career took wing when she was fifty-seven. Her first novel, “Postcards” won a Faulkner Award and he second novel, “The Shipping Cards” won the Pulitzer Prize.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s most beloved work is the children’s book series, “The Little House on the Prairie.” Set between 1932 and 1943, the books drew on her upbringing in a family of pioneers, which she began to chronicle later in life.
Frank McCourt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist best known for “Angela’s Ashes.” Published in 1996, it was based on his childhood in Ireland and Brooklyn.
The oldest debut novelist on record? Lorna Page, whose first novel, “A Dangerous Weakness” was published when she was ninety-three!
All of which goes to show that creativity and writing are always in season! Write on!
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