Three Important Tips for Writers 50 and Over


If you are 50+, this blog post is for you. With that sentence, I’ve probably lost my younger readers, but the advice I have for 50+ writers is so important that I’m focusing only on you this week.

Maybe you hosted a thriving blog but your readership declined, or maybe you found success self-publishing and marketing your books but now sales languish. It might be that while you are getting older your readers are getting younger.

Contrary to popular belief, Millennials read more than older generations do—and more than the last generation did at the same age. — (Forbes, “Millennials: A Generation Of Page-Turners” Jan. 16, 2017)

According to the latest Pew Research Center survey on book reading, 18- to 29-year-olds are the age group most likely to have read a book in any format over the past year. Fully 80% have done so, compared to 73% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 70% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and 67% of the 65+.

 manreadingSo, what does this mean for you? It’s time to give serious thought to your audience. Here are three important things to consider.

1 Your online activity.
Younger readers are tech savvy. While they still prefer reading print material to digital, they connect online. How active are you on social media? Do you know where your younger readers hang out and what interests them? Are you there? How often and how do you engage with them?

Young people are consuming plenty of electronic text in the form of their social media feeds, articles, blogs, online magazines, and apps . . . Millennials are not giving up traditional books, but they are trending more toward phones and tablets. —(Forbes, “Millennials: A Generation Of Page-Turners” Jan. 16, 2017)

Also keep in mind that many editors and other publishing professionals are likely younger than you are and comfortable with digital media.

As you age, if you plan to continue to write and build an audience for your work, you will need to understand and regularly use digital media. 

2 Your Plot and Theme.
How well do you know younger readers? Are you able to fashion a story, article or blog post from the perspective of a millennial?

64 percent of millennials respond positively to content that is tailored to their cultural interests.— (Addweek)

Whether your story is set in the early 20th century, today or in the future, think about how a younger adult reader might tell it. Consider your voice. Does your style and word choice attract younger readers?

 Work toward making your style, voice and vernacular more appealing to a younger audience.


3 Your Characters.
How old are the main characters in your stories? Do they interact with interesting characters in other age groups? Are they doing things that engage the mind, imagination and emotions of multi-age readers?

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters.” —Ernest Hemingway

If you want more readers, you have to write for them. Well-chosen characters are key to building an audience.

Focus your main character on the age group you most want to attract, but to broaden your audience try adding strong sub-stories with interesting younger/older characters.


 Emily Dickinson said,
“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.”

Think about it:

 What new things can you do today
to make your blog, non-fiction work or stories
appeal to a broader audience?


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Bizarre Facts About the Death of Edgar Allan Poe

poeWhat is October without Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart. You know this author for his macabre works of fiction, but do you know the strange circumstances surrounding his death?

Chew on, or devour if you like, these haunting facts:

Poe’s wife, Virginia Eliza, was also his first cousin. She died at age 24, coincidentally the same age as Poe’s mother and brother when they also died. Two years after Virginia’s death, Poe planned to marry his childhood sweetheart, Elmira Shelton, but on October 7, in the month most closely associated with his grisly poems, and only ten days before his wedding, Edgar Allan Poe died—unexpectedly (of course!).

In the days before his death, Poe seemed unable to think clearly. Elmira decided he looked ill and urged him to see a doctor. The doctor told Poe to put off for a few days a scheduled trip to Philadelphia. When Poe left his doctor’s office he took the doctor’s walking stick instead of his own. Poe had been traveling doing lectures, and he couldn’t remember where he left his luggage. Weeks after his death, one of Poe’s cousin’s tracked down in Baltimore a trunk of Poe’s possessions. Another was found in Richmond.

pablo+(1)What caused Poe’s untimely death? We don’t know for sure. One theory is that he had rabies. But the most accepted guess is this:

Four days before his death Poe was found at Ryan’s Fourth Ward Polls on the day of a municipal election. This location was associated with cooping, a form of voter fraud in which unsuspecting victims were drugged and forced to vote at one polling place after another until being left for dead. A few years after Poe’s death a rumor spread that Poe had been cooped. About a decade after Poe’s death, his friend John Ruben Thompson wrote a lecture . . . reporting that being cooped had contributed to Poe’s death. —

Poe’s demise didn’t end the creepiness we often associate with him.

• Catterina, Edgar Allan’s beloved cat, died just after he did.

• An enemy wrote Poe’s obituary.

Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote a lengthy obituary for his enemy that was so libelous Griswold signed it with a pseudonym. The article portrayed Poe as a mad, drunken, womanizing opium addict who based his darkest tales on personal experience.—

hair• Many of Poe’s fans waited in line to snatch a snippet of the author’s hair while he lie in state, but only seven people attended his funeral.

• Edgar Allan Poe was buried in an unmarked grave. Eleven years after his death a cousin paid to have a monument made; however a train crashed into the carver’s studio destroying the monument. Years later, when Poe’s coffin was being moved to a new location, it broke open revealing what was left of his remains.

• And, finally, some think that Poe continued writing after he died.

In the 1860s, the medium Lizzie Doten published some poetry she claimed had been dictated to her by Poe’s ghost.—

Read more about Edgar Allan Poe at
The Poe Museum. org


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10 Rules for Writers From Maya Angelou

C43Vu3ZWEAATB-uIf you had the privilege of attending any of Maya Angelou’s speaking engagements, then you came away with much to think about. She remains one of the most quoted Americans, and many of her quotations speak to writers.

Read these and apply them as rules for your writing routine.

49044_original“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Rule 1: Aim for the hearts of your readers.

bfa24e57befa55db2ef97a5ce3fceb58--writer-quotes-business-writing“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Rule 2: Don’t allow your stories to languish. Write!

EACH-OF-US-HAS-A-POWER-AND“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

Rule 3: Be willing to take risks when you write.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

37d6866494084accb0ff9045731c6a74Rule 4: Decide not to be knocked down by rejection and criticism.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Rule 5: Make self-worth your definition of “success”.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

Rule 6: Do what you love, and do it well. 

07c4a21d55b019c76a35bd92e1c01fe0--literary-quotes-beauty-quotes“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Rule 7: Learn from those times when you feel defeated.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Maya Angelou quote_0Rule 8: Open yourself up to all the creativity within you to discover your own unique style.

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”

Rule 9: Get below the surface when you write. Dig deep. Go for the roots.

fc969a38be0a4565bded730636e0d966--true-quotes-daily-inspiration“Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

Rule 10: When you edit, don’t complain. Be willing to rethink what you’ve written and be open to change.


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Filed under Encouragement, Famous Authors, Inspiration, Movtivation, Uncategorized, Writing goals