Is Age Holding You Back?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 6 Comments

By Patricia Bradley

How many times heard you heard someone say, “I’d love to write a book, but I’m too old.”

And it isn’t limited to writing a book. Mention learning anything new and I hear the same response—“Oh, I could never do that.” What bugs me most is that the person won’t even try.

So, is there an age limit to what we can do?

……(cue Jeopardy music)………Bear with me a minute—I’m thinking. Part of me wants to say no, but then I think about how I used to climb trees, and while in my mind, I think I could still do it, I’m not sure I’d want to unless a bear was chasing me.

Physically, we might not be able to do what we once did, but there are so many other things we can do. One year at Christmas my mother learned to text. She was ninety. She had a Facebook page when she passed away at ninety-three. She always wanted to be challenged.

So do I. And I think that’s the key—a desire to stretch myself. We all need to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone.

I hear it now. “I don’t even know how to start.”

That’s the easy part. Be it writing a book or learning how to use a computer. Take a class. Did you know after age sixty, about 60% of accredited colleges offer a waiver for senior students? And at most colleges you can audit a class for free. Check it out here (link: and here: (

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to learn the nuts and bolts of how to do it.

I believed God called me to write, and not just any old story, but suspense stories. Except I wasn’t having any luck with them. I was sixty-five when I went to my first writing retreat. I had been writing for almost twenty-five years with success in writing short pieces but had not gotten any results from my novels. I was making the same mistakes over and over because I didn’t have anyone to tell me what I was doing wrong…or right. But at the retreat I learned so much and went back three more years. After the third year, I got an agent and a publisher and my first book, Shadows of the Past was published after I turned 69.

So, you can do it! But you need desire and discipline to do what it takes to learn whatever it is you desire…and once  you learn the craft, you’ll be ready when God opens the door.

By the way, Justice Betrayed, the third book in my second series with Revell, released June 5. And I’m working on the first book in my third series, not yet titled but set in Natchez, Mississippi, bringing my total books written since 2012 to eleven plus two novellas.

So, don’t tell me you can’t do it. If I can do it, so can you. Do like I did—pray and ask God if writing is what He wants you to do. If He says yes, then go for it! For if God is for you, who can stop you? Will it be easy? Probably not, but anything worth having is worth working for.

Now go forth and write!

Do you ever get too old to try new things? Thoughts from @ptbradley1. #ACFWBlogs Click To Tweet

Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy, and loves to write suspense with a twist of romance. Her Logan Point and Memphis Cold Case Novels are available at all on-line retailers and major bookstores. JUSTICE Betrayed, the third book in the Memphis Cold Case Novels released last month. Connect with Patricia on her blog, Twitter (@ptbradley1) and Facebook.


Comments 6

  1. Thank you for this inspiring post, Patricia! Age is an attitude. I know people who are 80 who think young, and people who are 20 who think old. Scripture tells us that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23: 7).

    When I heard God’s call on my life to write for Him, I was 30 years old. I had already earned a doctorate in another field, but I joyfully began this new phase of my life. I wrote for magazines and for compilation books for several years and then God called me to write fiction. At age 67, I decided to fulfill my dream of earning the MFA in Writing Fiction. Interestingly, there were several other students in my graduating class who were also in their sixties.

    Today, by God’s grace and at age 72, I have published a novel trilogy (THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES), two novellas (A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING and SURRENDER TO LOVE), and five children’s picture books. As the Word you have quoted says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8: 31)

    So, yes, don’t let age hold you back—ever! If you are still on this earth, it means you still have work to do for Jesus!



  2. Patricia, one of my friends (who is older than I am, if you can believe that) reminds me that age is only a number. Thanks for reaffirming that. Yes, we can do it, and so can they.

  3. Thanks for this amazing post! So encouraging!

    I love that line: “Once you learn the craft, you’ll be ready when God opens the door.” I really needed to hear that. I need to be patient and learn the craft. God will bring the “next step” when it’s time. He’s got this!

  4. I love hearing your story, Pat — maybe even more because we met at that writers retreat you mentioned. I loved talking with you about story — and about our stories. You inspire me.

  5. Thank you all for your comments and encouragement to me and others. And Beth, I am so glad I attended that first retreat – so many wonderful friendships developed! It’s been such a blessing to know you these 8 – yes – 8 years. 🙂

  6. Thanks for writing about this topic. It touches home for me. I just went to my first writers conference, at 70. Now I have a problem I’ve been wrestling with since the conference. The key note speaker said when an agent gives you their business card, it’s a big deal. And that 45% don’t respond. My problem, I got a card but don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want to be in the 45%, but what do I do, what does the agent expect, do I just check in? She accepted my manuscript. Do I ask about it, It’s been 2 weeks.

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