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Courtesy: Campfireyarns.blogspot.com

I’ve been writing for almost 40 years now. In that time, my biggest claim to writing fame has been a 50-page autism help booklet that found its way to S. Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada and throughout the U.S. The $4.95 manual earned me a total of about $100 since self-printing it in 2008. Other than that, I had an op/ed piece printed in our local newspaper back in 2007.

My blogs (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5) have only ever found moderate success and I’ve only put a few of my short stories online. I have dozens (or more) of others that have simply never found the light of the Interwebz. So, does that mean that I will never find writing success? Should I pack it in and just stop writing?

If you’re a writer who takes The Craft seriously, you know that the answer is a loud and boisterous “I have no idea!” One thing is for sure, though: if I stop writing,  I can guarantee failure…as a writer, at least. Besides, there are famous names that never gave up, and found success when they “should” have been riding golf carts in Florida retirement communities.

For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 40s before she took to writing as a career. But it wasn’t until her 60s that she found a comfortable niche, and the amazing success we know today.

Raymond Chandler‘s short stories began to appear in magazines when he was 45.  But Chandler was 51 before he introduced the world to Philip Marlowe and The Big Sleep.

Frank McCourt, the author of Angela’s Ashes, didn’t see that book’s success until he was 66. And he was 75 before Teacher Man was published.

Watership Down is a timeless, beloved children’s story. And Richard Adams was 52 before he saw the classic take in print.

Oh yeah. And then there’s Harry Bernstein. Mr. Bernstein published The Invisible Wall in 2007, in part as a way to cope with the loss of his wife of seven decades. Wait, that would make him… Yeah, Harry was 97 when his book hit store shelves.

Those are some people who prove it truly never is too late.

Do you know other authors who found late success?
Are you one?

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Thanks again.