“Late” according to whom?
August 10, 2015 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to Bloom — a literary site devoted to highlighting, profiling, reviewing, and interviewing authors whose first major work was published when they were age 40 or older. Bloom is also a community of artists and readers who believe that “late” is a relative term, not an absolute one, and who are interested in bringing to attention a wide variety of artistic paths — challenging any narrow, prevailing ideas about the pacing and timing of creative fruition. (via Ask)
posted by You Should See the Other Guy (10 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Blossomed out of this column on The Millions.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:43 PM on August 10, 2015

(via Ask)
posted by andrewcooke at 7:51 PM on August 10, 2015

I need one of these for playwrights!
posted by xingcat at 7:53 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Raymond Chandler was in his 50s when his first novel was published.
Helen Hooven Santmyer was 88 when she had her first success with a novel, number one on the New York Times list for 7 weeks.
Between 1960 and 2015, eleven novelists were in their eighties when their book reached number one on the New York Times list. Thirty-eight were between 70 and 79. (from my own research)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:48 PM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Here comes a lot of metaphors about impotence
posted by clockzero at 9:05 PM on August 10, 2015

I wrote a novel when I was 22, published it when I was 32, and will probably never write another one. You can read all about me on Wither.
posted by escabeche at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2015 [16 favorites]

My father is a successful writer, and he didn't start writing until he lost his job in his early 50s. It's meant the world to see him do this for himself, and to see how someone can live a life very far outside the prevailing ideas about creativity.

As a young(er) person, you can feel so trapped if you're not "doing it right." If you don't have your shit together by a certain age, you start to feel like you've missed the boat on everything. It's how I've felt for most of my life, but I've been really lucky to have someone close to me who did things in an extraordinary way; his success has forced me to take my own doubts less seriously.

There was a thread on this site a few months ago about MFA programs, and someone (here or in a link) was passionately arguing that good writers are born, and that it's a waste of your time to pursue writing unless... well, I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure it was related to how writing is something that you should always have been doing. "You should be a writer because you can't imagine yourself doing anything else," or something.

I'm happy to have my dad's story. He did plenty of other things, but he just turned out to be a great writer. He started writing when he was unemployed, and he kept going even when most people weren't paying attention - until he was getting paid for his work and building his life around that. And even at its most basic, that story strikes me as far more interesting than the same old bullshit about how writers are a rare and special breed. What's more exciting than seeing someone use writing to transform their life into something completely unlike what it had been for half a century?

Well, anyway, I love that this site exists. It's all so much more interesting, and it's so much more empowering than the messaging we get about creativity 99% of the time.
posted by teponaztli at 12:13 AM on August 11, 2015 [37 favorites]

Welcome to Bloom — a literary site devoted to highlighting, profiling, reviewing, and interviewing ...

... Harold ...?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:12 AM on August 11, 2015

I guess liking this site immediately puts me into the "get off my lawn" demographic but I like it anyway. Yeah, young people do amazing things but it's reassuring to know that my career as a writer is not over since I've not published a novel already (at age 48). Phew.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:21 AM on August 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

It's been weighing on my mind recently that I'm not a spring chicken anymore, I still have writerly ambitions, and I'm still unpublished. This is a good reminder that I shouldn't be embarrassed or stressed by that. Thanks for sharing.
posted by naju at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

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