“Life begins at forty!” is one of the many clichés to cling on to when you reach a certain age. Is life better because you’ve racked up years of experience and learnt from your mistakes? Are you more comfortable now in your own skin and don’t worry about what others think of you? I can definitely answer yes to both questions and my more mature outlook impacts on who I am as a person and that’s reflected in my writing.
I started writing later in life and when my debut novel is published later this year I’ll be 47. After ten years practising the craft of writing, this novel will be the third I’ve written but the first to be published. Why? Because I had a lot to learn about things like the narrative arc and also needed to develop my writing ‘voice’. Could I have achieved my dream of being a published writer earlier? Who knows, all I know is that during those thirty odd years I was busy living and all the positive and negative situations I experienced have shaped me as a person and now have an impact on my writing.
That’s why I feel my writing is more interesting now than it would have ever been when I was much younger. And it’s why I gravitated towards other writers on Twitter who have had their debut novel published when they were 40+. I got chatting with these like-minded folk who’ve been around in the best possible sense and found I had a lot in common. A group of these online friends have now taken this bond to another level and formed a collective known as ‘The Prime Writers’ and set up a Twitter account @theprimewriters and just launched a fantastic website.
Here’s the thinking behind this brilliant idea…
Our group numbers more than 60, from all regions of the UK, and includes literary writers, writers of memoir, thrillers, romances, children’s fiction, historical fiction… you name it. We’ve been shortlisted for prizes, selected for book clubs, appeared at festivals and events. We draw on a vast reservoir of life experience to inform our writing and help and support each other in our publishing adventures. We were (in many cases, still are) teachers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, journalists, parents, carers – but we come together to celebrate, not only our achievements as writers, but the lives we led to achieve that dream.
Whether you’re looking for your next read, assembling a panel for an event, or simply seeking inspiration for your own aspirations, The Prime Writers is your gateway to a wealth of talent and expertise.
I’m honoured to be featured as one of the ‘prime writers’ with my details listed on this great new website and hope this exciting venture will help raise the profile of those of us who’ve taken a bit longer than others but have made it in the end.
Did you start writing later in life too?