Author Topic: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...  (Read 7065 times)  

Offline John Ellsworth

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Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« on: March 21, 2015, 10:35:08 AM »
Today I'm going into the studio.

Music studio, that is. My gear consists of a Macbook Pro, Garageband, Focusrite USB Audio Box (2/2), Alhambra guitar, Godin Multiac guitar, 12 string, Tascam studio monitors, and Yamaha Synth. My goal is to lay down backing tracks that I can then accompany live at some lunch hour, maybe a sandwich shop or hotel lobby, something like that. I also have a number of original pieces that I want to produce and put on my website for visitors.

I started publishing books thirteen months ago and have been self-supporting from my writing since the third month on.

Starting up my writing career and my music career came just in time.

I'm 73 years old.

Now, you're too old to quit the day job and become a writer? Are you kidding me?

Let's talk about how we're not going to let the ideas of being too old hold us back (or too late in life or too poor or too many kids to feed or too many bills or whatever is telling you "no")

Believe me, if I can do this, you can do this.

Offline Chris Lord

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 10:38:23 AM »
JOHN!

Great testimonial! I'm not 73 yet, but thankfully closer every day! 49 this year!

BTW: Love your covers!!! Who does them?

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Offline MyraScott

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 10:39:11 AM »
You go, John Ellsworth!

Good luck in your session!    I'm sure it will be great.  Your story is inspiring! 

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 10:39:48 AM »
John I'm 62 and started writing in 2012. I earned a full time income right from the start gun and still do in 2015.

I travel, I'm in Spain. I was in Greece. Next year I'm planning on coming over to the USA, buying a yacht and meandering up and down the West coast for a few years before looking for the next inspiring adventure.

Age is a state of mind.

Offline John Ellsworth

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 10:41:52 AM »
JOHN!

Great testimonial! I'm not 73 yet, but thankfully closer every day! 49 this year!

BTW: Love your covers!!! Who does them?

Thanks Chris. The first four covers were done by a guy who won't help me anymore. He's mad at me because I parted company with the guy who introduced us. The remaining covers were done by me and PS from pre-mades I found on http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com/. I just add the text, which I'm trying to learn in PS. I troll pre-made sites like some kind of cover addict.

Offline AshRonin

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 10:42:36 AM »
Haha, this just reminded me about that idiot ex-MFA Writing teacher that wrote that blog post recently about stuff he can say now that he is no longer a teacher and he mentioned that if you aren't seriously writing by the time you're a teenager to just quit, it's too late. It's like, holy [crap], dude, this is 2015, people live past 35 these days.

Offline AYClaudy

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 10:43:16 AM »


I started publishing books thirteen months ago and have been self-supporting from my writing since the third month on.


Regardless of age, that is an awesome feat, I applaud you!

So... any secrets?

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Offline John Ellsworth

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 10:44:17 AM »
John I'm 62 and started writing in 2012. I earned a full time income right from the start gun and still do in 2015.

I travel, I'm in Spain. I was in Greece. Next year I'm planning on coming over to the USA, buying a yacht and meandering up and down the West coast for a few years before looking for the next inspiring adventure.

Age is a state of mind.
Now you're inspiring me, Tobias! In May I'm taking a three day basic sailing class on Lake Michigan. My hope is to earn enough to get a boat and hit the water. Keep it up, man, sounds like you're having a blast!

Offline John Ellsworth

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 10:53:19 AM »
Regardless of age, that is an awesome feat, I applaud you!

So... any secrets?

Secrets?
Yes, plenty.
Write a series, write lots of books, ignore the critics, don't lose sleep over the first 1* review, put your money into strong covers and intelligent editing, publish every 60-90 days, keep a mailing list. Main character should be an ordinary person who finds himself/herself in an extraordinary situation. That's my main character, a young lawyer who suddenly is hired to defend the worst of all cases--a murder case. I'm talking thrillers now. I would avoid making my MC an ex-seal or ex-cop or ex-CIA or ex-anything, because that's all been done to death and, worse, your readers don't relate to ex-anythings because they never had those experiences. Like I say, start with Joe Everyman and put him or her in the worst possible situation. This is really key to hooking your reader, who will be an ordinary person living an ordinary life and immediately hooked to see what he or she would do if extraordinary circumstances suddenly came to town. Write in the third person, unless you have an extraordinary first person voice. Stay out of present tense, many readers won't read anything in present tense--I don't know why, but there you are. Keep your reader turning pages. Most readers will read at one sitting between 900-1500 words, so keep your chapters that short. Look at how the big guys do this, Preston, Child and those folks. The reason for this is that most people read "between something" -- such as between getting to the doctor's office and getting to see the doctor, or between buying a ticket at the train station and waiting to board the train. These are your readers. Try to accommodate them.

Now forget everything I just said and find out what works for you. That's what I did.

Offline Douglas E Wright

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 10:54:50 AM »
Thanks John,

I've been writing in one form or another since the mid-60s. I didn't even try to et published until the 2000s. I've been traditionally published since 2004, yet haven't scored anything in self-publishing yet. I started Kindle books in 2011 but went back to traditional in 2012 and 2013. I will be 60 this year and after being downsized, having heart problems, 2 cancer operations, yada, yada, yada, I felt I was in a goldfish bowl looking out at a younger world.

I've recently started a new book, (in a series) fought to outline it and am writing with excitement again. Your note here inspired me even more. Thanks.

Offline CJAnderson

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 10:57:50 AM »
70 is the new 50  8)

Offline Lydniz

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 10:58:15 AM »
Now forget everything I just said and find out what works for you. That's what I did.

Heh, this is my favourite bit. Well done on your success. ;D

Offline Bluebonnet

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2015, 11:00:46 AM »
Thank you for the motivational post, John. I'm 69. I can't worry about being too old to write. What I worry about is "no retirement savings." So I have to try.

Edited:  Eeeeek!  I just added 3 years to my age!  I'm only 66. Maybe I should be worrying about dementia instead of writing.  :P
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 11:36:05 AM by Bluebonnet »

Offline John Ellsworth

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2015, 11:02:40 AM »
Thank you for the motivational post, John. I'm 69. I can't worry about being too old to write. What I worry about is "no retirement savings." So I have to try.

Believe me, I get it. After 40 years of law practice I had no savings and no retirement tucked away. Nada. Taxes and stupid marriages had kept me wiped out. All I was looking at was Social Security and my doctor was saying I had to quit law. So I found KDP. Now I make ten times what my SS pays. Retire, hell.

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2015, 11:13:48 AM »
I think we should have an over 60's writers group. John can be in the Chair. :D I'll take the zimmer frame.  :D

Offline AgnesWebb

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2015, 11:16:16 AM »
Wonderful, wonderful story. Congrats on all of your success!

Offline Steven Hardesty

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2015, 11:19:58 AM »
Thanks, John, for the uplift.  I haven't hit 73 yet but I'm catching up on it.  What drives me is fear I won't get written down all I want to say about war before they pry this keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.


Thrillers / war novels / comedies / rowdy sci-fi / Westerns!
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Offline John Ellsworth

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2015, 11:23:27 AM »
Thanks, John, for the uplift.  I haven't hit 73 yet but I'm catching up on it.  What drives me is fear I won't get written down all I want to say about war before they pry this keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.

Hey, Steven. I read this bit yesterday where researchers at Stanford had cured (reversed) the effects of Alzheimer's and dementia in lab animals through the use of ultrasound to break up the protein deposits. Testing could begin on humans in 2016. Point being, our readers are likely to die off before we quit writing, all else being equal. Keep it up and I will too.

Offline AmpersandBookInteriors

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2015, 11:24:20 AM »
Great post! And it's all so true. :D


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Offline Marilyn Peake

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2015, 12:03:19 PM »
Huzzah! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

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Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2015, 12:19:38 PM »
You ROCK, John. Will you make your music available for us to hear, here? You know I'm not all that far behind you, I was in diapers when you were learning to drive. I read that article and totally laughed my butt off. Our generation doesn't know the word quit!

John I'm 62 and started writing in 2012. I earned a full time income right from the start gun and still do in 2015.

I travel, I'm in Spain. I was in Greece. Next year I'm planning on coming over to the USA, buying a yacht and meandering up and down the West coast for a few years before looking for the next inspiring adventure.

Age is a state of mind.

When you're cruising the left coast, Tobias, drop me a line. I know quite a few writers who cruise the Sea of Cortez in winter. It must be a very inspirational place.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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TobiasRoote

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2015, 12:23:31 PM »
When you're cruising the left coast, Tobias, drop me a line. I know quite a few writers who cruise the Sea of Cortez in winter. It must be a very inspirational place.

I had planned to look you up - I need to visit the locations in your books. :D

TobiasRoote

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2015, 12:26:33 PM »
Believe me, I get it. After 40 years of law practice I had no savings and no retirement tucked away. Nada. Taxes and stupid marriages had kept me wiped out. All I was looking at was Social Security and my doctor was saying I had to quit law. So I found KDP. Now I make ten times what my SS pays. Retire, hell.

This is so TRUE. Same here.

Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2015, 12:32:15 PM »
Nice post for us geriatrics.

I decided to respond because every year for the last 30 years or so (37 years dreaming) I kept telling myself next year will be the year that I write (and publish) my first book.  Finally the thing that really hit me was when I turned the big five zero.  I realized that 'next year' was never going to arrive cause well... it would always be next year so my age played a big factor in me finally sitting down and doing what I wanted to do for all these decades instead of shoving it off for yet another year.

Bravo!  Hope I'm doing as well as you in two more decades :)

Regards,
SM

Offline Kirkee

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Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2015, 08:32:39 PM »
John, amazing admission regarding your background: the no savings & bad marriages.
We love you, buddy. The revelation is also kinda funny, in that I couldn't be the only one who thought all lawyers were rich.

CJ: 70 the new 50. Except in John's case 70 is the new 35!  ;D
JE has the attitude of someone (at the least) half his age.



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