Wednesday, June 29, 2016

AM I TOO OLD?

When I hit middle age I got a tattoo, started working out, took up karate, lost a stone and a half and worried far too much about my future and how little of it there was left. My biggest concern was career progression... would I drop dead before I managed to break into TV?
Oscar winner Julian Fellowes -
Photo copyright of AP

My first thought - Was I too old to have a writing career in TV? My second thought - TV producers are mainly looking for young writers eager to learn and easy to mould, right? My third thought - Why do I have hairs growing out of my ears?

Then I read this quote on one of Bangers's (Lucy Hay - Bang2Write) many informative pages:

It’s never too late!

"Bang2writers tell me all the time they fear they’re “running out of time”. But Julian (Fellowes) has a brilliant SECOND career as a screenwriter and only started in his middle age. As he says of GOSFORD PARK, “I was this fat, bald actor nearly fifty, suddenly writing a Hollywood film!” This could be any one of us, IF we keep going and keep ourselves open. 
Lucy Hay, 2016
He'll be sixty-eight this year and he's still writing. Blimey! Suddenly I didn't feel so old. There was hope for my creaking bones and failing memory. Maybe, just maybe my life experience, maturity (ha!) and wisdom were a valuable commodity in the world of TV production.

Then from the depths of my dodgy memory, I recalled a moment last year when a writer came to me asking me to give him feedback on his TV pilot. He had a couple of TV people interested in reading it and wanted to polish it before he sent it off. He showed a great enthusiasm for his work, a willingness to listen to alternative ideas and was open to constructive criticism... and he was seventy-three years old.

So I guess the lesson I learnt here is not to categorise myself. It doesn't matter who you are. It only matters what you write and how you approach your work. Age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, are labels. Great writing is great writing and eagerly sought by producers, directors, script editors and development executives alike.

Here's another great link from Bangers... enjoy! - Why It's Never Too Late To Start Writing Your Masterpiece.

Happy writing!

3 comments:

Cascade Lily said...

Hello there, I'm a fellow (sister) mature traveller (forty freakin' five if you can believe it) and I think my thinking is only good enough now to be able to write what I want to write. And even then I'm a noob focusing on linear, character-driven narratives so I can understand how to construct a solid story before I go on to experiment and find my true voice. I'm hoping to publish a novel or sell a screenplay by the time I'm *ahem* at the next Big-Oh birthday :)

David Rambaldi said...

You are so right.

Fleurette M Van Gulden said...

Been writing since I learnt my ABC. Love letters, essays and imaginary tales. Procrastinated from dark hairs to my beginning greys. Now decided since my jubilee age to seriously pen a couple of specs. I'm getting there and shall soon be good in the room.