Author Topic: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...  (Read 7194 times)  

drno

  • Guest
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2015, 09:17:12 PM »
JE congrats! Love to hear some of your gangsta rap songs. ;)

Offline anniejocoby

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2183
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2015, 09:28:14 PM »
From one recovering attorney to another, you're an inspiration! :)

Isn't this job so much more fun than practicing law?

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | Annie Jocoby website

Offline John Ellsworth

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • Gender: Male
  • Southern California
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2015, 09:59:20 PM »
From one recovering attorney to another, you're an inspiration! :)

Isn't this job so much more fun than practicing law?

There never was a day of it I enjoyed. I liked the people, I loved my staff, but the adversarial system just plain sucked. It's not a mature way to solve problems, Annie. Yes, this job is so much more fun. It's the one I needed all my life. Thanks.

Offline John Ellsworth

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • Gender: Male
  • Southern California
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2015, 10:02:09 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.

Kirkee, most lawyers are living "paycheck to paycheck." About 1970 the schools began producing more lawyers than demand. It's continued ever since. I don't know what new grads do today who aren't in the top ten percent of their class. Sue each other, I guess.

As for the rest of the stuff, life happens.

Love you guys back.

Offline Abderian

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1490
    • View Profile
    • JJ Green
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2015, 10:09:38 PM »
Wow, John, thanks for your post. At 50 I'm the oldest in my writers' group, but you've just made me feel like a spring chicken once again. More power to your fingers on your keyboard!

J.J. Green | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Online ellenoc

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3866
  • Gender: Female
  • Colorado
  • Mystery and romance
    • View Profile
    • Ellen O'Connell
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2015, 10:18:59 PM »
I can see giving it up at a certain age if traditional were still the only way to go. The thought of years of query letters, probably a couple of years even after a book is under contract.... I'm sure some people keep right on trucking down that road regardless of age, but it would be a damper for me. Indie, though? I'm 69 and hope to have at least another 20 years. Book done, book out, book earning.

Congrats, John. I worked for law firms all my regular working years. Secretarial work to start and ended up a network administrator. Seven years was for an single practitioner who I'm sure was in your no retirement category - until he was appointed a judge here in Colorado. After that I worked for a large firm where none of the partners retired other than well off unless they were hiding drug or gambling addictions. What I hated wasn't the work but having to be there set hours. I don't know if I really do better with the unstructured retired life, but I'm happier with it.

Offline John Ellsworth

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • Gender: Male
  • Southern California
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2015, 10:24:19 PM »
I can see giving it up at a certain age if traditional were still the only way to go. The thought of years of query letters, probably a couple of years even after a book is under contract.... I'm sure some people keep right on trucking down that road regardless of age, but it would be a damper for me. Indie, though? I'm 69 and hope to have at least another 20 years. Book done, book out, book earning.

Congrats, John. I worked for law firms all my regular working years. Secretarial work to start and ended up a network administrator. Seven years was for an single practitioner who I'm sure was in your no retirement category - until he was appointed a judge here in Colorado. After that I worked for a large firm where none of the partners retired other than well off unless they were hiding drug or gambling addictions. What I hated wasn't the work but having to be there set hours. I don't know if I really do better with the unstructured retired life, but I'm happier with it.

I'm still licensed to practice in Colorado but, luckily for its cool population, I never made it there to inflict my brand of law on anyone. Colorado was always my "maybe someday" state--a place I would love to live. You're lucky to be there and so glad you're writing and not keeping someone else's hours. :)

Offline AlbertB

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2015, 10:41:40 PM »
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.

John, you should give Kat Mellon a try; she does some great premade work. http://www.kmwritingdesign.com/ Best of luck to you!

Offline EC Sheedy

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2711
  • Gender: Female
  • BC, Canada
  • "Words are Deeds." Wittgenstein
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2015, 11:08:55 PM »
Great post, John--and good luck with the music. I'm an oldie, too. At least on the outside... My thick skin hasn't let the passing years filter through to my brain yet, though.

According to CJ's math, I'm 55.  8) (I think this has been classified as whale math, but I'll take it.)

Offline baldricko

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
  • Sydney, Australia
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2015, 11:17:32 PM »
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.
John, that is some of the best advice I have ever read on how to write to grab an audience. And you've said it in so few words. Just excellent!!

A new trilogy is on the way, and it's something of a satire.
Gerard O'Neill | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Offline AYClaudy

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 375
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2015, 02:54:37 AM »
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.


I hadn't actually expected a response, but this is awesome stuff! Even if I'm supposed to forget most of it. I think I will, instead, assimilate what I can to what I write in a way that works for me. Thank you!  :D

Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10903
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2015, 03:12:07 AM »
Great inspirational post for the pensioners (I hate that word - unless I'm asking if there is a pensioner's discount  :D )

Glad that you're doing so well and earning enough to keep you afloat.  :)

Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline Lady TL Jennings

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Gender: Female
  • Oxfordshire, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Secret Quill
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2015, 03:40:08 AM »
John Ellsworth!
- You just became my personal hero!!!
Rock on!

:-)
Lady T. L. Jennings ~ Writing 19th century Victorian Oh-la-la and Romance in longhand, since 2011
                                
                                  
                                
                                              http://www.mysecretquill.com

Offline A.A

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2481
  • When I grow up....
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2015, 03:54:09 AM »
I've got nothing sensible to add - but am loving this thread  :D

Offline kathrynoh

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2529
  • Gender: Female
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Kathryn O'Halloran
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2015, 04:00:18 AM »
I'm currently living in a town where most of the residents are 70+ (I'm not) and it's made me a true believer in "use it or lose it" both physically and mentally. It seems to me that the 70s are a strange decade - for some, they seem to decide it's the end of the road and act like, others it's a time to go wild :) I guess health and life circumstances play into that but I saw a lovely old lady out today, taking her dog for a "walk" in her wheelchair.

Offline she-la-ti-da

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6596
  • in the bunker
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2015, 04:26:08 AM »
Never going to quit because of my age! Heck, I'm just getting started. I turned 57 last month, which marks four years+ of doing the self-publishing thing. I'd started out looking for the latest tips on writing query letters, but kept seeing stuff about self-pub. I had a vague memory of Stephen King doing it with a short story, and not getting very far, and figured it was a waste of time.

But I kept seeing blogs and sites talking about it, about how authors were selling their books on their own, and making money. One site kept coming up on top, so I went to check it out. Some dude named Joe Konrath. From there I found this place, Dean Wesley Smith, and the KDP page.

Hooked I was. :D

I've had some bad years since then, with both parents getting sick, my siblings getting sick, me getting sick... It just went on and on. Add in the teen boy drama from my youngest son, and things just kept pushing the writing and publishing into the background. But I've never given up on my dream to be a writer, a dream I've had for more than 50 years.

I have no retirement other than SS. I've had very few jobs where I made any decent money, but I always tried to save a little bit, which then would get spent for one reason or another. Kids want to eat and have clothes, for some reason. A bad marriage and then a bad relationship left me with three kids to raise on my own, with few job skills that anybody wanted to pay a living wage for, and then years of unemployment after the economy went South in 2008.

I'm not making much money now, but those few dollars each month are telling me I can make money writing. I love what I write, no matter what genre it is. I've got enough story ideas right now to last me for at least a decade, and they just keep coming.

Thanks for your "secrets", John. Many of them resonate with me, and I think I'll incorporate them into my writing space. I figure I'm never too old to learn. I may be too old and/or physically worn out to do a lot of things -- I'm not going to be the first woman pitcher in professional baseball, for example -- but as long as I'm above ground I can still do some things I want to do. I'd love to travel the world, for example. Some day I'll be able to do it.

Never give up, never surrender!
Queen of Procrasti Nation

Genres: speculative fiction under main pen name.




Offline Wayne Stinnett

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3822
  • Gender: Male
  • "I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns."
    • View Profile
    • My Website
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2015, 07:24:31 AM »
Your comment about never quitting reminds me of Sam "Sonny" Bryant. He's not a writer, though. He's a body builder. A 71 year old body builder! His simple philosophy is, "More people die retired, than die working."


NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  four-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.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline Barbara Bartholomew

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Gender: Female
  • Carter, Oklahoma
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2015, 08:07:33 AM »
Thanks for the post. I'm also seventy three, have been writing and publishing since I was thirty, and am so enjoying being an indie and adding substantially to my social security income. The best part, though, is looking forward to getting up each morning to do something I still love doing. It must be in the blood since my ninety three year old father is still actively farming and also loves what he does. I'm so glad nobody can make either of us retire!
   

Offline nek07

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2015, 08:13:09 AM »
I'm sixty-eight years old and I just wrote my first novel, so I hope you're right. As far as music goes I'm tone deaf. My daughter was a music major in college. In her student teaching she learned sign language from two students who were in the percussion section of the H.S. band where she was student teaching. After graduation she directed a high school band and then decided to go to seminary. After seminary she became a pastor in a deaf church, although she still had what they call a perfect hearing "ear," except for the low tones. She said the tubas could get away with anything. Ironically not hearing the low tones was the first sign of a rare genetic condition that left her rather suddenly totally deaf. Since then she has had double cochlear implants. She is one of the few totally deaf persons able to translate between the hearing and the deaf over video relay. Of course she's also the pastor of yet another deaf church.

Do you know of any totally deaf people who perform music on their own or come to listen to your music?
A community band has asked her to play the oboe for them. As you know most hearing people can only get a quack out of it. I'm very proud of her.

I'm happy for your success. I guess, for you, age is not a handicap just as deafness ( thanks to cochlear implants) is not a handicap for my daughter.

Is music more or less satisfying than writing, or are they just different?

sustaining a wave of kindness in an unkind world
KEN HOLLAR

Offline cadle-sparks

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1110
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2015, 09:03:07 AM »
Great post, and great writing advice. Thank you for sharing it.

Online Marti talbott

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2214
  • Marti Talbott
    • View Profile
    • Marti Talbott's Books
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2015, 10:12:57 AM »
I am nearly 70.

A warning for all of you - PAY ATTENTION!

I have worked since I turned 16 and thought I was doing okay, but when I retired my Social Security was worth less than a thousand dollars a month. Are you scared yet? You might get four times that much when you retire, but what if it costs eight times that to live comfortably?

I write because I love it and would be totally bored if I didn't, but I also write because I need the money.
I'm rather fond of a place to live and something to eat daily. I am also fond of not having to swallow my pride and go to a food bank.

Bottom line, if you give up at 18, 26 or even 50, you'll be just like me - old and scared.
       
Marti Talbott's Books   www.martitalbott.com

Offline baldricko

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
  • Sydney, Australia
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2015, 04:01:14 PM »
I am nearly 70.

A warning for all of you - PAY ATTENTION!

I have worked since I turned 16 and thought I was doing okay, but when I retired my Social Security was worth less than a thousand dollars a month. Are you scared yet? You might get four times that much when you retire, but what if it costs eight times that to live comfortably?

I write because I love it and would be totally bored if I didn't, but I also write because I need the money.
I'm rather fond of a place to live and something to eat daily. I am also fond of not having to swallow my pride and go to a food bank.

Bottom line, if you give up at 18, 26 or even 50, you'll be just like me - old and scared.
Martitalbott, that is sad and doubly sad because there are just so many people like you in the west.

In the east you tend to see something different. Old people doing tai chi, taking up weird and challenging hobbies, like mountain climbing, or archery (even in a wheel chair), tea ceremony (guess where) - like that awesome shot of the 70+ year old bodybuilder above. In the east you are more likely to see seniors who do not see their lives as ending, who have decided to master something. And yes they still face economic problems, because that is the fundamental issue most of us face if not born into wealth.

So you're not wrong about the predicament older citizens face. Even worse for the youth of today unless there's fundamental change in the economic, political, social aspects of life in the west, and most of the world.

But. I don't think you need to be scared. I advise (my 2 cents) as a writer always look for the truth, where-ever it you find it, and write about it. Push your limits, always. And find yourself plenty of friends, social contacts who fight for something better. That's the way to go.

A new trilogy is on the way, and it's something of a satire.
Gerard O'Neill | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Online LilyBLily

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2250
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2015, 04:34:33 PM »
Great post, John. Your energy is infectious and I'm taking your specific writing advice to heart.

Offline My Dog's Servant

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2015, 05:17:30 PM »
Thanks, John and Tobias. Definitely inspiring! The part I like best? That you're having fun!

Fortunately, I'm not aging. I'm just leaving my glasses off until I'm out of range of a mirror.

Offline JRHolmes

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
    • View Profile
Re: Are You Giving Up Because You're Too Old? Let me tell you...
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2015, 05:22:35 PM »
As you can see from my photo, I'm also among those that John was speaking to. Quite the inspiration and something that I'll be keeping as part of the lore of self-publishing.

I wanted to make certain that I commented just so that I'll keep being reminded as more stories like this surface in this thread.