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Is there an Age Limit to Success?

I have been thinking a lot about age recently. This is partly because I am turning thirty next year and my list of goals is still somewhat the same as when I was twenty. What I have found is that life does not move as fast as I would like. I think the other part is that, while I love my job teaching teenagers, they make me feel old on many days. There’s nothing like quoting a line from Schrek and having it go over their heads. Titanic? What’s that? One student told me that “The Lion King” was a “classic.” The student made it out of my classroom alive, but my ego was definitely bruised. 

It’s like I have hit a panic button. The clock is ticking, days counting down to the moment when I should officially give up on my dreams. Hearing all of the graduation speeches I heard last week left me wondering about the duration of dreams. Most of the friends I know gave up on their dreams a long time ago. It seems like that started happening around twenty-five. This only propelled my belief that I was near “the end,” as silly as that sounds. In fact, I remember asking my mom when the time I should give up is and accept defeat. She, God love her, replied “never.” 

So, I decided to do some research for my blog post this week. My main concern was the age of current authors when they first published (interestingly enough this did not always match when they became a big star). I looked up seven different authors.  I started with young adult authors, Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling. Then I switched to fantasy. Finding a trend, I searched New York Time Bestseller and looked up a few off that list. They all came out the same. While a few made a break in their twenties—Stephen King was 26, Jim Butcher 29, and Nicholas Sparks 29—most were in their early thirties. 

A blog I read gave a neat chart of authors, some of which I had already looked up. Most are in their thirties and forties with a few in their sixties. Maybe I am silly for being excited by this revelation. But in my own mind, I figured everyone should break it into the big time in their twenties. I think this is societal influences, though. We see singers in their teens make it big a lot. Actors, same thing. Society seems to flaunt that success should come before thirty. That, by the time thirty rolls around, maybe we should find new dreams. I was happy to discover this is not the case. 

After doing this post, I can feel myself calm down. Thirty is not the time to give up. If anything, it is the time for things to finally begin. Who knows, maybe I will be the next example an aspiring author lists for never giving up on a dream. 

1 Comment

  1. Daveler

    You’re either too young or you’re too old. I have gotten told a surprising amount of times that I shouldn’t start writing until I was thirty.

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