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Relax . . . Time Is On Your Side December 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Merry Christmas!

As an “early” Christmas present to those of you who have set your sights on writing the Great American Novel . . .

Relax, take a breather, and enjoy the holidays with kith and kin.

Time is on your side.

Many of the best selling American novels of the past 50 years have been  penned by authors in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s:

Irving Stone (1903-1989) wrote The Agony and the Ectasy in 1961 at age 58.

Katherine Ann Porter (1890-1980) wrote Ship of Fools in 1962 at age 72.

James A. Michener (1907-1997) wrote The Source in 1965 at age 58, Centennial in 1974 at age 67, Chesapeake in 1978 at age 71, and The Covenant in 1980 at age 73.

Elia Kazan (1909-2003) wrote The Arrangement: A Novel in 1967 at age 58.

Leon Uris (1924-2003) wrote Trinity in 1976 at age 52.

Robert Ludlum (1927-2001) wrote The Bourne Identity in 1980 at age 53.

James Clavell (1924-1994) wrote Noble House (the sequel to Shogun) in 1981 at age 57.

The Plains of Passage

Image via Wikipedia

Jean M. Auel (b. 1936) wrote The Plains of Passage in 1990 at age 54.

Alexandra Ripley (1934-2004) wrote Scarlett in 1991 at age 57.

Robert J. Waller (b. 1939) wrote The Bridges of Madison County in 1992 at age 53.

Granted, some of these authors were already best-selling authors before they hit the big 5-0, but others picked up the writing bug much later in life and still managed to hit pay dirt well into their life cycle.

One last bit of good news . . .

Most of these authors are no longer in competition with us.

Write On . . .


1. Joanne Fruin - December 24, 2010

Based on this premise, seeing as I’ve set my lifeline to 120 — give or take a few decades –the next fifty years look pretty promising for leaving my Great American Writing Legacy — in whatever form it takes…

That settled, I can now focus on making my frugal meals taste better. Pass the salt, please 😀

nrhatch - December 24, 2010


If we are meant to write the Great American Novel . . . we’ll be here until it’s written.

And the key to having more is wanting less. Here’s to frugality, with a dash of salt.

2. duke1959 - December 24, 2010

So at 51 I still have time!

nrhatch - December 24, 2010

Yes, indeed! So enjoy your holidays. 🙂

3. run4joy59 - December 24, 2010

Ahh…what a relief…now I can write without all the pressure of getting older!

nrhatch - December 24, 2010

I know, right?!

Enjoy the holidays! Thanks for swinging by.

4. Debra - December 24, 2010

So true!.

thank you for this uplifting message. I am right in line then!

Happy Holidays and Namaste & Metta to all!

nrhatch - December 24, 2010

Thanks, Debra! We’ve got the eternal NOW on our side. 🙂

5. souldipper - December 25, 2010

Great news. Now I have to find a new excuse for not publishing! 🙂

nrhatch - December 25, 2010

That can be your New Year’s Resolution! 😉

6. Cindy - December 25, 2010

Ah, that makes me feel very optimistic, thanks 🙂

nrhatch - December 25, 2010

Writers are able to produce good works long past their 20’s and 30’s ~ unlike athletes who are ready to retire by their 30’s or 40’s.

We can build on our experience. 😉

7. M. Howalt - December 25, 2010

Oh, that’s uplifiting! Thanks for sharing the list.

nrhatch - December 25, 2010

Thanks, M! It’s a bright spot on the horizon.

8. Carol Ann Hoel - December 25, 2010

The last word is the best! Ha! I’d hate to compete with them. Very encouraging post, Nancy. I’m not getting any younger. I hope the next batch of those late-blooming writers will be in their 70th decade. I’m not there yet, but I haven’t been published yet either. Blessings to you…

nrhatch - December 25, 2010

May your words reach the world at the perfect time. 🙂

9. viewfromtheside - December 25, 2010

This is most encouraging 😉

nrhatch - December 26, 2010


10. Richard W Scott - December 26, 2010

The trick, then, is to live… to stay alive, long as you can. I like that idea.

nrhatch - December 26, 2010

Oliver Wendell Holmes at age 92 ~ “What I wouldn’t give to be 70 again.” 😉

11. Judson - December 26, 2010

Now, you see, that is EXACTLY the kind of encouragement I need! Thanks!

— Judson

nrhatch - December 26, 2010


12. davjonz - December 27, 2010

At 35 I feel I have so little time left I must write like the wind to get all my novels completed before this second half of my life is over and the chance is forever lost.

nrhatch - December 27, 2010

At 35, I had a sense of urgency about life as well. No more. I just focus on making the most of the time I have remaining.

Write on!

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