Lee Child, author of the famous “Jack Reacher” novels, didn’t begin his writing career until he was 40 years old.
(A hollywood adaptation of Jack Reacher was released last year, starring none other than Tom Cruise. I highly recommend it especially if you like action movies.)
Lee Child actually recommends starting your writing career later in life. He says that a person needs to live a little first, needs to get some real world experience, otherwise the writing will be hollow.
“Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.”
-Catherine Drinker Bowen
Everything is connected. Writing is not apart from life. It is not apart from health, work, family, dreams, plans, spirituality or emotional stability.
Some events, some ideas, and some feelings in life are so unbelievably rich that it would be a crime not to write about them. Writing is holy because it lifts those temporary things out of the muck of time and gives them wings.
I think Lee Child was onto something. Maybe I won’t become a decent writer until I’m 40 or 50 or even 70 (if I’m lucky). If that’s the case, I might as well start practicing now, so that when my time comes I’ll have the skills and the tools to make it happen.