The Ageless Art

March 27, 2010

I recently came across this article on BBC News about the Bookbite campaign to encourage the over-60s to discover and develop their interest in creative reading and writing. I think it’s a great idea, and the article got me to thinking about how storytelling is one of the few arts that is truly not age-discriminatory.

In fact the argument could be made that writing is one of the few arts that tends to get better with age. Certainly the stories of a youth or young adult may have a higher level of passion, energy or enthusiasm about them, but surely the finer details – nuances in theme, character-relationships, and lessons-learned – can only get better with the experience that comes from age.

I worry sometimes about the longevity of my full-time career as a graphic designer. Talented new designers are emerging from universities by the bucket-load each and every year and sooner or later that stigma that comes with age will probably rise up to challenge me in my career progression. Who would you trust to give you the liveliest, most current design – the fifty year old, white haired man in the shirt and tie, or the energetic twenty-something with the ripped jeans and the t-shirt that says “Sex, Drugs, Helvetica Bold”?

See what I mean?

But I realized I have no similar worries about my writing. I suspect that every day that passes, every new person I meet, and every trial and tribulation that puts a new wrinkle on my forehead will only make my stories more honest, more refined, and most importantly more real.

I wonder if there are any readers of this blog out there that are in their finer years? If so, please weigh in… I’d love to hear from you!

~CGW (35 years old and progressing)