Monday, October 1, 2012

Writers are like wine ... they improve with age

Getting older may be a key to success for writers.

Another birthday!  Whew!  It’s tough to celebrate the wrinkles; and it’s hard to reconcile the aging face in the mirror with my inner double groovin’, triple bitchin’, outta-sight self.  But there is one thing that lessens the pain of getting older – each year makes me a better writer.  

Yes, it's good news about aging!  Unlike most things that begin to dull or sag with age, popular belief holds that aging actually helps us improve as writers; and those life experiences we pile up each year give us an edge over younger writers.  

Did you know?
In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

Rather than becoming outdated due to advancing technology, one-world economics, or even global warming, we writers can become (remain) successful because our interests, maturity and life experiences give us an ever expanding platform from which to write.  
Did you know?
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. 
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies room during a dance.
There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

We are depositories of facts and figures.  Filed in our brains is the jetsam and flotsam, the ephemera, of our everyday lives.  Where we spent our childhood, our school adventures and our escapades as young adults all are fodder for our writing.  The information we learned about food, illness, sports, music, cleaning, budgeting and parenting while raising a family gives us authority; as do earlier jobs, other careers, and our hobbies and interests. 
Did you know?
The most popular first name in the world is Muhammad. 
Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating. 
The names of Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye.

Although the list of advantages for aging women is pretty short in 21st century American culture, just the fact that you are a woman may add to your story telling ability according to author Sylvia Dickey Smith.  Below, Smith, author of the Sidra Smart mysteries, shares the reasons why she believes older women make better writers.
Smith began writing after retirement as a psychotherapist.  her work focuses on the older woman finding her voice, and incorporating life experience into the written word.  

Oder Women Make Better Writers

By Sylvia Dickey Smith
Older women make better writers because they hold stories in their hearts, and have done so for years. It is a statistical fact that mature women can and do learn how to and write and publish full length novels, many of whom are published by a big New York publisher.
It is an often accepted fact that women in every culture are the holder of stories. Long before they start writing them down, they listen for stories of family and friends, and keep them close to their hearts. Get a group of women together and soon they begin to recount story after story. They dig into the deeper meaning of relationships.
They sort through their own actions and the actions of others. Listen to a group of women give an account from their past and watch the children gather around and, with glee on their faces, say, “Tell me something I did when I was little.”
A few years ago, women over fifty were often dismissed as out of touch with the real world and unworthy of respect as authors, with few notable exceptions. Agents and publishers often dismissed the older woman writer, saying she had too little time left for the industry to invest dollars in her career.
Older women have proved that idea wrong. Today, women over fifty are entering the writers market in large numbers and are having great success, not only in getting published, but in achieving bestseller status. Anyone who thinks women over 50 are feeble little old ladies are behind the times.
Did you know?
One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water.

Rice paper does not have any rice in it.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

You can find tons of fun trivia, interesting facts, and brain games online to add to your cornucopia of knowledge and keep your brainwaves strong.  Check out and

And don't forget to celebrate your next birthday!  
Did you know?
Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister and was a sniper in Vietnam.  

Facetious and abstemious are the only words that contain all the vowels in the correct order. 

A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours. (Man, wish I’d known that fact when I was younger. Now I’m feeling kinda bad that we used to pull all those dragonflies apart on hot summer days down by the lake. I didn’t know they were on such a tight schedule. Well as Oprah says, “When we know better, we do better.”)


elizabethbrinton said...

Wow. I love the collection of obscure facts. I certainly did not know anything about Winston's Churchill's birth. Having read the three volume collection of his work,"The History of the English Speaking People" and a biography, I am surprised that I did not know this. I did not know any of the other tidbits either. You are a wealth of information, Mary Jane.

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

I took great comfort from the essay about older writers. Lately I've been reading Penelope Fitzgerald (The Bookshop), who launched a writing career at age 58 and went on to win the Booker Prize and other honors. The London Times included her on a list of "The best English writers since 1945."