Friday, March 18, 2011

Writing and aging

A recent report by Joel Friedlander about a meeting of a California writers' group included a photo of the attendees. There was lots of gray hair, white hair and places where there once was hair.

I commented that I wondered where all of the young writers are. Are the creative 20-somethings and 30-somethings devoting their energy to writing apps, playing videogames and tweeting?

But maybe writing has always been mostly an old folks' activity -- maybe like bingo, bocce, complaining and visiting doctors.

Maybe the perspective of looking back on decades of experiences is a vital ingredient in writing.

I know I have much more to say now than I did 40 years ago. Back then I wrote magazine articles. Now I write books (and blog posts).

(Photo from -- used without permission, but with thanks)


  1. Young writers don't go to writer's conferences or meetings. They are writing, partying, and drinking. That's what I was doing when I was 20. Now that I'm twice that age, I seem to have more time to do these sorts of "daytime" activities. And the grey hair is there for me, too-- except I own shares of Clairol and the hair color flows like water at my house.

  2. To Christy...

    I have a constant battle between vanity and laziness. Generally laziness wins -- there's no way I could maintain a toupee or contact lenses.

    About ten years ago I tried "Just For Men" to dye my graying beard brown. The beard looked fine until I went into the pool, and the beard turned green.

    I'm contemplating a major temporary redecoration for my 65th birthday next month. I may have my head shaved.

    SHHH! Don't let my wife know.

  3. We get a few young writers and self-publishers at the BAIPA meetings, but it is definitely a small minority. Most of the people seem to be retired or about to retire. The refreshments are good, however, and I think the two things are related. There are so many young writers publishing now, I think they hang out online or places where people don't talk about their recent dental work.