Ben Affleck and Herbert Kretzmer show the way for ‘second acts’
The Hollywood actor-turned-director Ben Affleck recently spoke about being given a “second act” after he won the Best Director award at the Baftas for his film Argo. Similarly, Les Miserables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer told The Guardian he “was able to give up my day job at 61” after it became clear that the show had a fairly certain future.
My spirits were lifted by both of these comments as I had just binned another press release about a competition for new writers – with yet another age limit on it – only under-30s were eligible.
These types of competitions have often infuriated me. New writers can be of any age. In fact, I’d say older writers have more about them. They have more to say. More experience to draw on. I mean do I really want to read about another twentysomething RomCom? No offence to any struggling twentysomething writers, particularly if they are on their latest RomCom.
I just want more new writing competitions to be open to “second actors”. After all, how can you afford to be a struggling writer unless you have already struggled in another career? Now have a pension, independent income (aka spouse) or a job that you can fit your writing around?
What do you think? Are you on your second act? Do age restrictions on writing competitions annoy you too? I’d love to hear your views.