This blog was featured on 07/25/2018
Writing is an Ageless Profession - Thank God!

Okay here’s the deal and the wonderful news for authors; age has nothing to do with writing. We’re not Olympic gymnasts where youth and physical flexibility are key to our professional success. We don’t need to cash out at a young age because our bodies tell us they simply can’t do what they used to do; our brains are our muscles. Truthfully there’s no real physical side to our profession other than typing fingers and sitting in a chair reading a computer screen. We’re writers, we don’t need youth to help us in our chosen profession, and that’s great news for us. You can write and get published at any age; your creative juices don’t let you down. You can write at 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond.

While most of society’s professions are obsessed with youth, writing escapes that obsession. 

There’s no age limit on creating our literary works. 

Frank McCourt, the author of the acclaimed Angela's Ashes did not start writing until he’d retired from teaching. Angela’s Ashes was published when he was 66 years old and he started writing it only after his wife, Ellen, told him to stop telling his stories for free at his favorite pub and put them down in writing for posterity.

Dracula, the book that put Bram Stoker’s name on the literary map was published when Stoker was 50 years old. Before he passed away at the age of 64 he was to have seven more novels published.

And while it may have taken Mark Twain almost ten years to complete The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, due mainly to his constant obsessive revisions, this now classic book was published when he was almost the ripe young age of 50.                                    

Writing is a passion; all writers will tell you that it is the only thing they want to do. But sometimes life gets in the way of being a full-time author. We may have jobs that have nothing to do with writing at all or we may have a position where we write in another medium. That doesn’t mean the passion or dream to write a novel dies; far from it. No matter what a writer is doing to make a living, the writing passion is strong and many will say that they write whenever they can.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House in the Woods didn’t come to be printed until just after her sixty-fourth birthday and she didn’t start writing seriously until she was 44. However, she never forgot the stories she wrote as a child in pencil in her school copy books and hoped to see in print one day.

Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe at fifty-eight after successful careers as a merchant, journalist, writer of inflammatory political pamphlets, and even as a spy.

Other famous “older” authors include Anna Sewell who saw her book, the classic Black Beauty published when she was 57 and Raymond Chandler was 51 when The Big Sleep, one of the best detective novels ever written, was published.

Last but certainly not least on the list of late-blooming authors there is Norman Maclean. Remember the beautiful and poignant movie A River Run Through it? It’s based on the book of the same name by Maclean who, at the wonderfully productive age of 74, published it as his first, and only novel. See? The profession of writing truly is ageless.

Happy writing!


© 2018 copyright Kristen Houghton all rights reserved

Kristen Houghton is the author of nine novels, two non-fiction books, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and a children’s novella. Her latest novel, DO UNTO OTHERS, is book 4 in her best-selling cozy mystery series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation. The series has been voted one of the top five mystery/thriller series by International Mystery Writers.

She is also the author of the Horror Writers of America award-winning Quick-Read, Welcome to Hell.

Kristen Houghton has covered politics, news, and lifestyle issues as a contributor to the Huffington Post. Currently she writes the Savvy Author as well as trending articles for HuffPost.

Her writing portfolio includes Criminal Element Magazine, a division of Macmillan Publishing, Hartford Woman, Today, senior fiction editor at Bella Magazine, interviews and reviews for HBO documentaries, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and The Style Channel.

A California girl at heart, she and her husband, Alan reside in the New York City area which is "magical". For more about Kristen, her books and short stories, please visit

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  • SJ Lee Brainstorming

    (Deep breath)...Ah! This is lovely encouragement for a late starter. Thank you.