“When I was writing ‘Kitchen Confidential,' I was in my 40s, I had never paid rent on time, I was 10 years behind on my taxes, I had never owned my own furniture or a car.” – Anthony Bourdain, Born Jun, 25, 1956.
I didn't start doing this “Cult of Copy” thing – my life's work, working for myself, writing what I want, etc. until I was 30.
It's not ever too late to start. The thing is, age and experience actually give you advantages over the young when it comes to writing with gravitas.
The young have an advantage when it comes to the technology inherent in new media.
But unless you have an amazing imagination, there is no good substitute for mileage. A mature perspective is a valuable commodity when it comes to anything.
If you have one, you can build an appreciative audience around whatever it is you want to explore and share with them.
Food, travel, persuasion, art, writing, hunting, guitar, martial arts, pig husbandry, whatever.
And hey, I don't mean for this post to shit on the young. Like I said, youth has advantages, too. But as a person who is now 40+, I feel like I was an idiot at your age, and I'm impressed with young people possessed of ambition.
My advice to you is this: pay attention to the stories happening all around you. Friends, colleagues, mentors, followers, etc. That's all going to be valuable foundational material you will get to make when you REALLY hit your groove, baby.
Like whiskey or wine.
Coda: this was originally written in 2017 while Mr. Bourdain was still with us. Now, it's bittersweet for obvious reasons. But it especially underlines that it's never too late to start, because you never know when your time on the ride might be over. RIP Tony.
<!—- lagniappe Here is some rare woo-woo spiritual bullshit from me, but also a bit of practical advice baked in with it, so bear with me. You need to have a clear vision of the life you are hoping this writing stuff is going to bring you. What life are you trying to buy? Not stuff, but what life. Picture your ideal “average” day. Not like a special perfect day that happens once or rarely. But what would you like your typical average day to be like instead of how it is now. I guess you can picture material things and surroundings as part of that if it motivates you. But I’m talking about what you DO on that day. That is what you’re trying to buy. For me, it’s not about material stuff, but about maximizing free time for leisure and hobbies and the company of my family. And not having to work too hard or too long like my parents did. Here’s where the practical side of this advice comes in. Once you find out what your vision is, find someone who has that ideal day - where their every day is what you want yours to be. Then figure out how that person affords it. That’s the kind of business you want to have. Because here is the thing - plenty of 10x 24/7 hustle bros out there can sell the crap out of this stuff and get you to pay through the nose for your own dream and promise their course or whatever is the bridge to get you there. But if their reality is that you have to work 80 hours a week and constantly be thinking about business and deals and numbers and monitoring every little thing because it’s all so fragile and precarious - if that isn’t your ideal day, DON’T LEARN SHIT FROM THAT GUY! Not knocking it, some people love the hustle. That’s a match for someone. But not me. Probably not you. You have to find someone that is secure, and comfortable, and having fun, and that has something set up long term. And is living how you want to. It’s not just about how big their business is - it’s about what they needed to afford what you want. Hope this helps. Love you all. Thank you. —->
1 thought on “It’s Only Too Late To Start If You Woke Up Dead Today”
This one is totally bittersweet reminder I “happened” upon today in my inbox.
Anthony Bourdain, def one of my all time favorite storytellers.
Love how you meta and literally teach this stuff.
Thanks for leading the way, Colin.