Monday, May 18, 2015

Late Bloomers


In 2011, the Oscar for writing was given to David Seidler for The King’s Speech. He was 73, and it was his first Oscar and first nomination. In his acceptance speech he said his father had told him he’d be a late bloomer. The audience laughed, since obviously his father was right. David Seidler also said he hoped that his record as the oldest person to win this particular award was broken quickly and often.

I’m with him. Some might say I’m a late bloomer too, because I didn’t start my writing career in earnest (that is, quit my ‘day job’ and went full time) until I was nearly 50.


My writing flowers may have begun to bloom in the autumn of my life, but I had plenty of other flowers blooming in the springtime too. Who says we have to plant the same flowers all our lives? Like tulips in the spring, sunflowers in the summer, dahlias in the fall, and poinsettias in the winter, we can bloom in every season of our lives.

As David Seidler and other late bloomers like him show us, it is never too late to bloom. We live in a youth-worshipping society, and that is so sad. Youth is beautiful, but it’s only one part of life. Age is beautiful too. If we denigrate age, we should not be surprised when we are denigrated ourselves when we’re no longer young.

It’s always struck me as silly that no one wants to die young, but no one wants to get old either. Yet, those are your only choices. If you don’t die when you’re young, you will get old. I think we need to adjust our attitudes. The David Seidlers of the world help us do that.

We writers are lucky. You’re never too old to write. Plus you just might have more to write about when you’re old than when you’re young.

Bloom early, bloom late – the important thing is to bloom.

Kim Pearson is an author, ghostwriter, and owner of Primary Sources, a writing service that helps others become authors of professional and compelling books and articles. She has authored 10 books of her own, and ghostwritten more than 40 non-fiction books and memoirs. To learn more about her books or services, visit kimpearson.me.

14 comments :

  1. Hey, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up.

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  2. I didn't even start thinking about writing until my AARP card was showing signs of age. I agree we have more life experience, although I do have to research things relevant to the ages of my characters. It used to be via my kids, but they're getting older, too.

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    1. I love that comment, Terry. So inspiring! And you're so right about the research. I spend a lot of time at Urban Dictionary. :D

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  3. I've always written poetry and journaling, but didn't write fiction until late in life and didn't publish until my late 40s. So many of us wait until other demands slow down so we have more time to devote to our passions. I'd say at this phase of the long slow slide into obscurity, I wish I had worked less and took more time for my passions. The ride goes so darn fast!

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    1. The fast rides are the most fun, right?

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  4. This is a terrific post. I never wrote one thing outside school assignments until I was 58. I was as surprised as anyone that I could write one book, let alone eleven.

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    1. Wow! I've read some of your books, Polly, and I would have sworn you'd been writing for decades. Bloominess indeed.

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    2. Thanks, Kim. That's nice of you to say. I think when we ladies of a certain age decide to do something, we give it our all. I had some great help from writers generous with their time and skill.

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  5. As a writer, I'm also a late bloomer. I doubt I could have written anything interesting when I was in my 20s or 30s but at least I was reading a lot. I'm sure that helped when I finally began to experiment with story telling.

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  6. This is perfect for me! I was older than most college kids when I took a few classes in Literature and Creative Writing. I'd always been interested in writing, but never pursued it. I loved the classes and did well, but as fate would have it, I lost financial aid and couldn't finish. This was in the 1990's, prior to the internet. I was told by well-meaning friends and family to quit dreaming and "get a real job." Which I did. I gave up on writing and worked in customer service for over 30 years. I still wanted to write, but didn't think that I had a chance. Now, at 56 years old, I am working on my first novel. Now that the age problem is no longer a problem, my insecurity is that I don't have my degree. It seems as though on almost every writer's bio I see, they have a degree or even a MFA to boot. I am still plugging away, but I ask myself all the time if I can really do this. :)

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    1. I agree, and I'm a perfect example. In all the years since I graduated college, with an art degree, by the way, no one has ever asked for my credentials. We make our own by the quality of our work.

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  7. I was in my mid 60s when I finally bloomed -- unless you count those times years earlier when some people believed I was a blooming idiot. :-)

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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