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“Don’t worry about time because that’s just a buzzkill.”  –  George Saunders

On Monday, I was supremely fortunate to hear the esteemed creative writer and professor George Saunders read from Tenth of December, his latest collection of short stories.

During the Q & A session that followed, Mr. Saunders mentioned having arrived at writing later in life (his early thirties,) which made me blanche. If early thirties were late, then where did that leave me? So, I asked Saunders if he had any advice for those of us writers in the audience whose early thirties were behind us.spring-beauty-21254300

In response, Saunders said many of the younger writers whom he works with often haven’t experienced life’s hardest lessons. They haven’t been hurt or learned how certain things in life have a cost. They haven’t mastered empathy. For writers these insights, which many times arrive with age, are, according to Saunders, “all gold.”

I have a tendency to get hung up on the fact that I’ve started my writing career in my 40s instead of my 20s and have to forever remind myself that one piece of worth by the time I kick-it will equal success. In the meantime, sage words from Saunders and articles like Malcolm Gladwell’s Late Bloomers, keep my spirits up.

As does the knowledge that my fellow blogger Tara Conklin is making a big splash next week with the launch of her amazing (yes I read an advance copy and loved it) debut novel The House Girl, and it’s all happening for her post 40. Yep, that’s right Tara, you inspire me too. Bravo.

Any literary late bloomers out there? Who or what inspires you to pursue writing despite being late out of the gate?