I would like to know.
No, really…what happens to authors/writers after they turn 25?
Do we turn into chopped liver?
Do our arms and legs fall off, our eyes and ears shrivel up and we can no longer write or be expected to entertain in a writerly sense?
I’m not 25 anymore, I’m rapidly approaching the business end of the 20’s and will soon be jettisoning into the 30’s with much enthusiasm. So why then, does the writers scene seem to embrace the under 25’s with such gusto?
To be fair, I don’t know about all the competitions, all the writing groups or all the websites, but of late I’ve been bombarded with a veritable landslide of ‘young writers’ information (I still consider myself to be young! They say age is only a number) and 90% or more of them are ONLY for people under the age of 25.
So, what do us ‘old sticks’ do if there is a vast array of things available to assist young writers in getting into the scene? But the ones targeted to our age bracket seem to be stealthily hidden away? Perhaps my eye sight is failing?
Do we try to ride the coat tails of the few competitions and awards that I’ve located that allow writers up to the age of 30? (read: That’s what I’ve been doing!) OR am I just looking in the wrong places for areas to tote my writing swag?
It got me to thinking about this whole age dealy.
Why are writers under the age of 25 so special?
Does society as a whole feel the need to nurture the young? Give them opportunities that us older folk didn’t get as youngsters?
Does one take the stance that it is in fact ageist to put age restrictions on competitions? Or, could a member of the more worldly group consider it a slight to be bested by someone who’s barely out of their nappies (for the non-Aussie folk I am referring to diapers)? Of course I take this into a realm of stupidity with my scenarios, but the issue is still there. Why did this occur? Is it important?
I don’t really know why this distinction in ages became such a big thing, I don’t think that it’s all that important really, I think what is important is that we showcase talent, no matter the age, race, sex, colour, religion, beliefs or anything else of the person exhibiting it.
Am I alone in this thought?
My first reaction to this whole topic was to think, perhaps it’s unfair to compare the written word of an 18 year old to that of a 34 year old, given the 34 year old has 16 years more experience than the 18 year old, but really, writing is an expression of oneself and people do it in ways that are polar opposites of the spectrum. Also, add to this little thought, that perhaps the 18 year old has been solidly writing their craft since they were 12, encouraged by teachers, friends and family to write and express themselves, but the 34 year old is just coming into the realm of creative expression? Who has the advantage there? Should the 18 year old be thrust up against other experienced writers?
It’s a gnarly concept, one that I don’t think has a difinitive answer. I think no matter where you draw the line (since that seems to be the flavour of the moment to draw ‘age lines’ in the sand) there will be people who fall short or burst through the norms for those distinctions.
Am I making sense anymore?! I must have lost my marbles around here somewhere…
So, when should the age distinction come into play? Should it ever?
This topic and train of thought has made my head hurt… silly ol’ chook I am.
Tell me, what are your thoughts on this topic? Have you ever been privvy to this type of situation outside of the writing scope? Do you think we should put age limits on competitions? If so, why?