Posted by: penpatience | March 31, 2018


WRITERS WORDS: “By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” –George Burns




Many writers today may not have chosen writing as an initial career but decided to bravely cast their line into the writing waters later in life. Many enjoyed earlier, fulfilling careers before the compulsion to write burgeoned inside them or the writing passion could no longer be denied. Witness a few past U.S. Presidents along with many famous celebrities, who, in later years, have taken advantage of fame and notoriety to pen best-selling books. And don’t forget old Aunt Agatha’s contentious, tell-all family memoir that left her ostracized by family members until her death at age 88!

Seniors today are unlike the stereotyped seniors of former generations. Today, when an individual’s age crosses the “over fifty-five” threshold, this senior status may only be reflected with the receipt of the first of many invitations to join the A.A. R.P. Think about a new attitude epitomized in this fun saying found in an all senior publication titled, “the Whisper Walker” distributed in Southeast Florida: “When I get old I’m not going to sit around knitting. I’m going to be clicking my Life Alert button to see how many hot firefighters show up.”—Author Unknown. As a side note, The Whisper Walker is published, written, edited and distributed by a dedicated group of seniors.

Although it’s difficult and challenging to pursue writing projects at any age, a great article, “Publish Your First Book after 50,” by Scott Hoffman (Writer’s Digest- March 28, 2008 issue) highlights mistakes some mature writers often make. However, regardless of age, writing requires hard work, discipline, research and an ability to endure critique and rejection of your writing projects. Here are a few writers whose hard work and due diligence has brought them success later in life:

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book, “Little House in the Book Woods,” at the age of 64. “Little House on The Prairie” followed later.

Frank McCourt, his first book, “Angela’s Ashes,” was published at the age of 66.

Raymond Chandler published “The Big Sleep, at age 51.

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas published her famous “Everglades: River of Grass,” when she was 57. (Yes, the tragedy at the Parkland, Florida high school bears her namesake.) She lived to age 108.

Anna Sewell published “Black Beauty,” despite health issues when she was 57.

And, although not a writer, Anna Mary Robertson Moses (Grandma Moses) became a famous folk artist painting in earnest at age 78.

So, Mature Writers, it’s never too late to write that memoir, short story, essay, article or your first book.  Listed below is a short list of publications that might be of interest for senior writers:

Reminisce, Good Old Days Magazine, Today’s Senior, AARP – The Magazine, Reader’s Digest and Senior Times. Persimmon Tree, a literary journal, only accepts submissions from women 65 years old and over ( Ageless Authors, is another interesting publication that might be of interest.

When I sit down to write, I remind myself that age is only a number and the more numerical history in the writer, the more history the writer may write.

 Happy Reading and Writing!

A reminder….April is National Autism Month. Last April 2017, I posted, “Nicholas and Me,” in honor of my wonderful grandson, Nicholas. I invite you to reread it again in honor of all autistic children. And don’t forget to light it up blue in April!



  1. Good reminder. Age is only a number. My outdoor house lights are shining blue all month long. Great story about Nicholas. I shall reread it.


  2. Thanks Diana. Yes, I try to remember that adage everyday. I’ve dug out my Autism t-shirt. A must wear this month in support of Nicky and all other autistic children.


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