When it comes to pursuing our dreams, many of us are plagued with doubts. What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? Do I really have what it takes to succeed? As someone who has discovered her passion later in life (I’m in my 40’s), I have another question pop in my head occasionally.
Am I too old to even try?
I know from the time I’ve spent reading other blogs and conversing with fellow bloggers that I’m not the only one who has this fear. Has opportunity passed us by? Well, I got tired of hearing that worn out excuse replay in my head and did some research to finally put it to rest. It turns out many of history’s greatest achievements were made by those who were middle-aged or older. Here are a few examples:
- Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in his 40’s
- Leonardo DaVinci painted The Last Supper at 43 and the Mona Lisa at 51
- Henry Ford invented the Model T at age 45
- Antonio Vivaldi composed The Four Seasons at 45
What about writers? Plenty of notable works were written by authors later in life, such as:
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (57)
- Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (66)
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (64)
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (47)
- Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer (40) and Huckleberry Finn (49)
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (49)
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (45) and The Brothers Karamazov (59)
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (60)
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (52)
See? There is no expiration date on the mind’s ability to innovate. This NY Times article argues that innovators get better with age, noting that “two of the biggest-selling authors of fiction for 2012 — Suzanne Collins and E. L. James — are around 50.” When it comes to pursuing your dreams, there is no rule that says you must be young to be successful, only young at heart.
This is my first post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. I hope you enjoyed it.
What is the Insecure Writers Support Group?
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.
Are you an insecure writer? Would you like to join the group? Click here for the sign up page.