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Get writing!

Yes, you can write that novel. Is there a book in you, waiting to be written? Have you ever thought that you ought to give it a try? Well, why not? Maybe the title of this article should be “Just Do It.” I was well into my seventies when I wrote my first novel. Yes, really! And now I have just completed my fifth.

I am convinced that if I can do it, thousands of others certainly could. How difficult is it? As I was soon to discover, story-telling is an art, but novel writing is a craft; it has to be learned, like any other. The good news is that there are plenty of people out there who can teach you how. And it isn’t expensive, believe me. In fact it is cheaper to start writing than it is to get into most of the conventional hobbies that folk pursue. The only tool you need is a computer or word processor (but of course you could start with nothing more than a biro and paper) and the only expense is the cost of a professional editor, who will teach you by email how to put it all together.

Tuition is one-to-one and the beauty of that is that you can learn at your own pace. Wonderful, and great fun. So, what qualifications do you need? Surprisingly few: knowing where to put the commas and full stops is useful, but a good editor will help you with that. You also need time, but since you can take it at your own pace, that should not be a problem. The best news is that if you are over sixty, you already have by far the most important qualification: life experience. It is the most under-rated, yet most valuable gift that we receive as we get older.

Ageing is ongoing, inevitable and relentless. As we age, simple physical tasks like weeding, washing the car or just walking to the shops, routine activities that we take for granted, get progressively more difficult. We slow down. Yet mentally we feel no older. We feel no different now than we did when we were in our forties or fifties. At an age when our bodies need new bits and physical infirmities can affect our quality of life, we still have our minds, often more alert and more effective than those of others far younger than us in physical age.

Best of all, we are privileged to have something they lack: many more years of life experience. A priceless asset that cannot be bought, it is earned only by staying alive. And if you are a good observer, you are already well qualified to become a writer. Just do it! Chris Calder, 2020

Created By on 06/08/2020

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16th Oct 2020 13:05:36 (Last activity: 16th Oct 2020 14:07:01)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Chris, what good advice! Like you I've started writing late in life (65 this year) and have almost (!) finished the fisrt draft of a novel. I know it will need editing and re-writing before I will be happy with it, but I wonder if, when it is finished, You wuld have time to review some or all of it? The genre is detective/adventure set in the 1980s.

Tbh, I've found it hard to find critical readers and my wife (bless her) likes what I write and although well read, isn't very helful with comments on plot or style, which is ehat I think i now need. Perhaps you might also know of any groups or fora where I can submit the synopsis or extracts for critical comment/review?

Many thanks
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 16th Oct 2020 14:07:01
Hi AlanRuyten,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

25th Sep 2020 08:39:36
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Good morning Calderwriter!

I have just read your post and so admire you, and what you say-I could not agree more!

I wish you well and stay safe x
7th Aug 2020 05:38:31 (Last activity: 17th Aug 2020 17:58:54)
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for the advice. I am new to this site and I love to write poetry, short stories and things pertaining to nature.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 7th Aug 2020 08:09:20
Hi Netta22,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

Response from Calderwriter Original Poster made on 8th Aug 2020 16:17:49
Hi Netta22,

You seem to love writing. Is it just a hobby?

Response from Dinabob4 made on 16th Aug 2020 14:36:13 > @Sally - Silversurfer's Editor
Hi Sally , I think Calderwriter's comment in reply to Netta22 has not gone direct to her as maybe he hoped it had. Because you replied kindly to the new member Netta22 first the box disappeared for a direct reply to Netta22 from someone else.
This is an anomaly in the system that might be worth looking into, as it can stop that initial flow of contact between people.

I have seen this elsewhere on the site that the welcome message from editor to new member takes away the direct reply box (which sends an email alert I expect) and trialed it out. I replied to you and the box came back for the original person after that. People will not know they have to reply to you first to get the option.

Can this be looked into? Many thanks.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 17th Aug 2020 17:58:54 > @Dinabob4
Hello Dinabob4

Just to put your mind at rest, Calderwriter's comment didn't come to me, and the thread is set out correctly. Netta22 will be aware of this comment and would have got an email notification 🙂
16th Aug 2020 14:27:56
Thanks for voting!
I think you are right Calderwriter that your brain can serve you in retirement or as you age when you perhaps may not be able to get out and do physical tasks in the way you could. Of course you have the wisdom you did not have in youth and all the life experience too!
If you can develop the skill for when you retire and you enjoy it, then it's a great way forward especially if you have time on your hands.
I find you need to have a lot of patience and follow through. As well, it can seem quite solitary as you are not talking to anyone!
Calderwriter Original Poster
16th Aug 2020 10:54:47
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Hello Sweetpetite, My apologies for not replying sooner. I had a password problem! Technology!
So, it's good to hear from you. You say that you know you should start. Perhaps, if you really would like to write, you should just go for it? May I suggest that you start by recalling something -- an incident, perhaps -- from your life that you like repeating to friends? Just get the words down. On paper, or in a Word document. Every potential writer needs a stimulus--in my case it was boredom, whilst recovering in a French hospital from surgery. That's where I put together the bones of my first novel. I would be happy to help you in any way I can, but it is you who have to make the decision to first pick up the pen! You can reach me anytime; as one who tries always respond to readers, I would be happy to hear from you. Chris Calder
11th Aug 2020 13:39:47 (Last activity: 11th Aug 2020 15:24:57)
Thanks for voting!
Amazing to hear of someone enjoying & writing succesfully. I would like to write & know I should start! I don't know why I put it off but think I put it at the bottom of the too large 'to do list'. I love a good book, a good story. Do you think a routine is important? Time set apart to write? I don't know what stops me but always hopeful that I will do more than just think about it. I enjoyed reading your intro, thank you.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 11th Aug 2020 15:24:57
Hi Sweetpetite,

Welcome and many thanks for your first comment in our Forum.

If you already know your way around, then we will leave you to it.

If you are looking for some lively discussions, head on over to the Forum homepage to see what's trending right now and feel free to join in the discussions, with all our friendly members, perhaps ask a question or even start your own post.

9th Aug 2020 00:41:08 (Last activity: 9th Aug 2020 23:32:17)
Thanks for voting!
i'd love to write a novel but i can only write professional books - i get too bored with other stuff
Response from Calderwriter Original Poster made on 9th Aug 2020 23:32:17
Hi jess975,

Ah! If you write professional books, (non-fiction), as a writer you are are already half-way there, if you want to write fiction. I penned my first novel out of -- boredom! That happened when I was recovering from surgery in a French hospital. Unable to communicate with the folk around me, I wrote the outline of a story based partly on my own experiences in business. It became my first novel. You start with a plot idea. That can come from anywhere, but best from something from your own memory, tweaked to make it interesting. It doesn't have to be literally true, which is where imagination helps. I'd be glad to help, if you want me to and if I can. All I can say is that novel writing has improved my life beyond my expectations. I am 82 now and still writing!

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