If you’ve been making a living by writing or did it as a mere pleasure, the thought of not being able to write anymore because of old age is dreadful. The idea that creativity fades with age has been the subject of many studies. If you are concerned that you’ll have to put an end to your writing career when you retire, read on and see what scientists say.
When Does Creativity Peak?
According to experts, we start becoming more creative and prolific in whatever field of art or study we work, around the age of 25. Most people reach their peak after the age of 35 or in their 40s. This is when they produce their most valuable work. After the age of 45, most artists’ prolificity starts slowly declining. Again, pay attention to the word ‘slowly’.
As our bodies age, we become slower from every point of view. We move with less ease, we find it harder to remember things and also to perform mental tasks that were previously easy. However, our creative side is still there unaltered (except in the unfortunate event of developing cognitive diseases related to old age such as dementia).
What Does Science Say?
Most studies and practical experiments point out that a person who was blessed with great creativity in their 30s will still be at least half as productive and talented by the age of 80. In other words, once you’ve had a natural inclination for the written craft, you’ll always have it. You will still be able to produce great content, but it will probably require more time.
Moreover, there is good news for all the seniors out there who have a knack for writing. This is the type of ability you are expected to be able to preserve. People who have a gift for numbers or precise data such as mathematicians show a rapid peak but also a more abrupt decline. Writers, on the other hand, can show little to no lack of skill as they age.
Surveys, therefore, show that creativity is somehow selective when it comes to parting ways with the one who is blessed. Remember however that, as a writer, you are on the good side of the barricade as you will be able to preserve most of your ability. And to do this, you have to work continuously, at least for pleasure if not for the sake of getting published.
Will You Still Be Able to Write as You Age?
The correct question is actually – will you still be willing to write as you age? We all know that wanting to achieve something is totally different from actually getting there. Writing is one of the activities that require a great deal of mental effort and dedication. Even if your words flow easily, you still need ambition and sufficient time to produce a good piece of writing.
The problem is that when you age, there are days when you don’t even think about reading a book, let alone work on writing one. There are days when you can’t focus on anything because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep, or your back and legs hurt too much. These days, your only consolation might be indulging in shopping, buying tasty snacks, clothes or velcro shoes for seniors.
The challenge of writing after a certain age actually has to do more with your body than your mind or creative decline. For example, being able to physically endure the strain that comes with typing for hours is a greater impediment than not being able to imagine the end of the story.
In conclusion, writing might become more difficult as you age, but not due to lack of creativity, but rather to common age-related problems. If you want to continue writing as you age, take care of your health first. Secondly, be as active as you can because genius is still only one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.