One of the writers groups that I am in (novelists) has been fessing up lately about their age at first sale. It seems to be a hot topic, with a large number of the members chiming in.
There are two primary groups popping up: the Early Starters and the Late Bloomers.
I happen to be an LB. I didn’t even start submitting for publication until I turned 41. I had my first sale two months later, my first pro sale at 41, and my first novel sale at…ahem, 47. Yeah, I’m no Early Starter.
Now, given, I always wrote. Just not for publication. I had a few poems (blech!) published in the high school magazine, and some in one of the college ones, too. No money changed hands though. And there -was- the second grade incident where my teacher wanted to submit my story to Highlights…but that deal fell apart due to creative differences (My teacher wanted me to change the ending.)
But I wrote, always.
I think a lot of people are out there writing for the sheer joy of it. And some of them may go on to start submitting their work for publication. Others may never do so. Some people are busily submitting to magazines in High School and College. And still others are self-publishing now, something that would have been near-impossible when I was young.
More than anything else, I think that discussion is only stressing how many different paths there are to publication.
So IF you’re going for professional publication, are you a Late Bloomer or an Early Starter?