Creativity Conundrum #3:
But I'm Too Old
One supposed creativity conundrum that keeps people from pursuing their rightful artistic dreams, is the believe that they are too old. I hilariously believed this of myself about a year after I graduated from college. At the ripe old age of 23, I felt as though I should be achieving on the level of the beautiful teenagers who had already become film and movie stars. I would look at celebrities and friends who had already achieved so much and I would think to myself that I missed the boat. The truth is that most creative people don't find the full use of their creative instruments until their 30s or 40s. And there are many examples of people who began employing these gifts much later.
If you know deep down that you should be doing something creative, you can't let your age be an excuse. You can't even let the fact that you've done something else for such a long time be an excuse. Famous Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, best known for appearing as Mad Eye Moody in the Harry Potter series, didn't start acting until he was 34 and he'd previously been a school teacher. It doesn't matter if you haven't been "artistic" your entire life, there's no creativity conundrum here, you can still become the artist you knew you could be.
Let's say you think the boat has passed you by on a writing career. That you haven't honed your craft and you have a creativity conundrum-based worry that you're too old to start. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't become a writer until her forties and published her first novel in the Little House on the Prairie series in her sixties. Famous British novelist Mary Wesley, published her book Jumping the Queue when she was 71 years old. These examples are meant to show you that even if you're getting social security or spending your time in a nursing home, you're never too old to create something.
Perhaps you think that you weren't brought up in the right schooling to be artistic. Maybe you believe your creativity was crushed by mind-numbing working the last decades (or the last few decades). Let's take William "Bill" Traylor, a self-taught artist who was born into slavery in 1854, who later began drawing. At the age of 83! And after that point he produced 1,200 to 1,500 drawings that ended up exhibited in art galleries around the world! Clearly it's not about age or education.
This creativity conundrum that there is some age at which you have to stop being creative is a load of crap. Indian writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri wrote his final work, Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse at the age of 100. Don't trick yourself into believing that you can't do something because of age, it's just an excuse you're imagining due to a lack of self-confidence. Trust me when I say, no matter what age you are, you can create something worthwhile and amazing. Happy writing!
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Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.
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