If you have a story you’ve been carrying around in your head for years but haven’t done anything about it, what’s stopping you? Many people who have a remarkable story to tell fear that it’s too late for writing a book. They are too old, or they don’t have the time and connections. However, as you age, you may discover that the perfect time to write your first book is now.

You Have the Time for Writing a Book

Whether you’re still working or heading into your retirement years, you have more time now than you did when you were young. You probably aren’t focusing on a career, and your nest is empty. Without multiple commitments to other people, now may be the right time to set up a corner where you can work comfortably and start writing your book. Many people pick up new hobbies as they grow older. If painting, golfing, or gardening aren’t your thing, writing a book is an excellent way to enjoy yourself and keep your mind active.

You Have Perspective

Wisdom comes with age. It sounds trite, but it’s true. Many writers who published their first book when they were older produced gems of literature filled with nuance and depth. Part of this is because age gave these writers more life experience. They’ve weathered many of life’s storms and can bring that insight to whatever they write. Don’t hesitate to view our story through the lens of your mature perspective.

You Have the Patience for Writing a Book

Writing a book is a lengthy process. It’s not something you’ll finish in a few weeks (unless you’re Barbara Cartland, who published over 700 romance novels in her lifetime. No pressure.) Most books of value and depth take months, sometimes years, to finish. Now that you have decades of life experience behind you, writing a book probably won’t seem so intimidating. You can take your time, savor the experience, and put it aside when you need to, knowing it will be there when you come back to it. 

In our younger years, other priorities can make it more challenging to write. Careers, children, friends, and other commitments may have forced us to shelve a half-finished manuscript. You may have started with an outline and didn’t get any further. Now could be the time to pull out your old notes or manuscript and get to work.

Inspiring Authors Like You

You’d be surprised by the number of famous authors whose first books weren’t published until later in life. There have been writers who took the publishing world by storm when they were in their teens or twenties, but they are rare. Here are a few writers who had their first book published in their forties or later:

  • Henry Miller, 43 – Tropic of Cancer
  • Bram Stoker, 43 – Dracula
  • Alex Haley, 44 – The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • JRR Tolkien, 45 – The Hobbit
  • Raymond Chandler, 50 – The Big Sleep
  • Richard Adams, 52 – Watership Down
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 57 – Everglades: River of Grass
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, 65 – Little House in the Big Woods
  • Frank McCourt, 66 – Angela’s Ashes
  • Mary Wesley, 70 – The Camomile Lawn

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a contemporary publishing company, we help thoughtful people write and publish books for all sorts of reasons. For more information about our Developmental Editing, Coaching, Consulting and Professional Self-Publishing options, please reach us at +1-520-329-2729 or Info@DudleyCourtPress.com.

We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive ten-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir.

– Gail Woodard