“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.