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Joel A

That advice can be applied to life in general. It always saddens me when I see youngsters do well in music or movies or business when they rise, then fall real, real bad. (With some never rising again.) I've met many a bitter writer who pursued the "dream" but to get wealthy, not just published.

"But you have a novel getting published?"

"So what?" they reply. "I can't live on that advance."

"What are you going to do now?"

"I don't know. Hmmm. Do you know any REAL jobs?"


Sigh.

Sylvano

Now that I am 41, and my brain has recently sprouted the notion that I ought to write books, I look back to my early years of pursuing writing and poetry, and I wonder whether I could have had a few novels under my belt now. Who knows?

But it doesn't matter because, as you note, it is "rewiring the brain" and "educating yourself" that are my motivation - not making money from writing. This is particularly so, since my regular job is more than capable at addressing that part of life's equation...

Erik Buchanan

I'm 37. I started writing books in grade 3 (however old I was then). My first published novel is coming out next year.

I like to think that the years have added a wisdom and depth to my writing that wasn't there before.

Of course, I might just have finally improved my grammer to the point where a publisher could actually read what I've written, but my ego and I are going to go with the first explanation ;).

Christopher Willard

Arts and sciences differ. The mathematical in art and science has seen many child prodigies -- and music would be included in that, sequences and memorization play a big role. (see Twyla Tharp's new book regarding her views on Mozart being to a large degree a product of his environment.) On the other hand, the less "solveable" arts (for lack of a better word) and by this I mean novel writing, poetry, painting, have never seen a real child prodigy. Yes there are those who published young, or painted a somewhat realistic picture at a young age, but their works lacked depth and meaning, in other words, they were not very good pieces of art. I've never yet been able to find an exception. The person most mentioned is Picasso, who painted a realistic picture many artists would die for at age 17, however these promoters of the artist forget his father was a painter and that picasso worked daily from an every earlier age learning to paint. And when the dust clears, that early painting still looks like a student work. Same with publishing. So take this as a hopeful sign, keep working and realize that mastery of an art takes years.

cj

It takes time to learn and grow....

Scaccia

I've been writing for almost ten years.. I was in a rush to get published a few years back, feeling like I just HAD to be earning money already, and that was the quickest way to do it, especially while I was about 13-14 years old and there was nowhere at that age to get a real job. My stories weren't that great, but I think I've gotten better and I think the story I'm working on right now will someday be (finished, ha ha) publishable.

But I cooled down, now I'm 19 and getting ready to self-publish a book of poetry I've written in the past six years. So it may not earn me a lot of money, there'll be no major recognition, but it'll be out there, and at least five people will have bought a copy to make me feel better.

I also worked at a library, so I'm going to convince my old boss to buy a copy or two when the fiscal year rolls around. Then my high school English teachers can be proud, even if no one really read through and OK'd my work for publishing except myself.

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