Late-Blooming Writers

Are you a late bloomer? So was Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill
By British Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thomas West, author of the In the Mind’s Eye: Creative Visual Thinkers, Gifted Dyslexics, and the Rise of Visual Technologies (a terrific book that I highly recommend), wrote this on his blog about Winston Churchill as a late-blooming writer:

“What, then, can be said of his education as a writer and historian? His education during his years at Harrow (where, after all, he did not do very well) would not seem sufficient to explain his great skill or depth of knowledge and understanding in later years. Nor would even his oft-repeated study of elementary English composition and grammar. His years at Sandhurst were designed for the active and practical military professional, not to provide a background in the literature of the military historian.

“Where and when had he read the great authors, to provide a base for his native writing skills? Once again, late-blooming seems the answer and seems the dominant pattern. Like Faraday, Churchill started late but he never stopped. And he followed his own program, in his own time, for his own purposes.” [emphases added] Read More

One thing I love about the practice and profession of writing is that there is no narrow window of prodigious achievement (in other words, we aren’t “washed up” if we haven’t made it by age 30), no mandatory retirement age. In fact, more life experience allows for greater and more connections, what West calls “integration of a whole life.”

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