You Are Never Too Old to Write

Can you imagine having your first book published at the age of 96? Harry Bernstein did just that. He was 96 when his book, The Invisible Wall, was published. He wrote the story to assuage his grief after his wife died four years earlier.

I found this remarkable story on Julia Temlyn’s Mrs. Write Right blog. Julia also writes The Grammar Police, a blog after my own heart. The first item I found on it points out the difference between “less than” and “fewer than,” specifically as used on Quick Check lane signs. You go Julia — right onto my links list in the side column!

Back to Harry Bernstein: Isn’t this just amazing? The Alzheimers Prevention Foundation recommends writing is one of the best ways to keep your brain alert and healthy. Legions of younger people have found comfort in writing as a way of dealing with grief, but Harry probably takes the medal for “Oldest First Time Published Author.”

Perhaps you are hesitating to begin writing because you feel “too old.” Let me put words in Harry’s mouth and tell you, “Balderdash! You are only too old if you never start!” I’m guessing that Harry started writing for himself, then showed some of his writing to family and friends, who encouraged him to continue, and one thing led to another.

If you have friends or relatives who are hesitating, do what you can to spur them on. Give them whatever assistance and encouragement you can, even helping them get started. Assure them that you'll cherish anything they write, even if it has misspellings, errors and other flaws. And share Harry’s story with them. Perhaps it will nudge them into a "can do" attitude.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka, Ritergal


Shawn Hansen said...

Hi Sharon,

I was thrilled to see another reader has joined us at the Grammar Police, but I have to point out that the post to which you refer is my doing!

I am happy to share the spotlight with Julia, but when it comes to someone loving a post I wrote, I want to make sure the reader knows it's me!


Ritergal said...


Mea culpa! I'm a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. I found the link to Grammar Police on Julia's Mrs. Write Right site as one of the places she blogs, and failed to notice that there is a Grammar Police Force. Looking back, that info is tiny, so perhaps my aging eyes can be excused.

In any event, I love that blog, and the link stays. If more than one author is involved, so much the better. That increases the likelihood y'all will keep up the momentum.

Thanks for your comment! Please come back.

QuoinMonkey said...

Writing can take you places at any age. Sometimes it's the best way to communicate. We are definitely *never* too old to write.

Thanks for the post. BTW, I also checked out the Grammar Police. Clever site.