It’s not that 34 is old . . .

but Tea Obreht, the winner of this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction, is only 25.  And having been 25, I know for a fact that 25 is very young.  You don’t feel young when you’re 25 because you’re probably done with college and working a normal job and doing grown up things, but it is still pretty damn young.  And when I was 25 I had not won any major prizes for fiction.  Not unless you count that $500 scholarship in 1998 a major prize ,nd I do not, it was very nice and I was really pleased to have won it, but it was more minor than major.

So, yeah, 34 is not old, but it is nearly a decade older than 25 and I am feeling a bit like anunderacheiver at the moment.  I want to write a book and win prizes too!  And I want it to have happened 9 years ago.  This, of course, is not an option which means I need to stop slacking and get on task.  It’s not like there’s an age limit on these things and Tea Obreht’s good fortune doesn’t mean that I can not also succeed.  I can succeed, I know that, but seriously, 25.  That’s just ridiculous.



Filed under book? what book?, culture it up, grumpus

4 responses to “It’s not that 34 is old . . .

  1. I distinctly remember thinking this thought once, in a panic: “I’m running out of time to be a prodigy!” Can’t remember how old I was, but yeah, I did think it. I got over it, though. Writing isn’t like being an Olympic athlete or something. Older people actually are usually the most successful at it, so that’s good.

  2. Mollie

    This is the type of moment when I like to pull out one of my favorite factoids: Matisse was 35 before he even picked up a paint brush. And when he finally got too old/arthritic to paint, his paper cut outs were still a wild success. Anyway, I think it would be way more awesome if you were more like Matisse and less like some fluke of a totally young prize-winner.

    • carolynintheuk

      So I need to aim to be the literary equivelant of Matisse then? I can go for that. I still want it to happen faster though!

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