'Old people, in general, don't have literary careers.' So said Robert McCrum in last Sunday's Observer piece.
He goes on to talk about the longevity or not of most writer's careers and how it's hard to follow early success with even more success:
"For this process [the process of writing lots of books], "career" is really the wrong word. There is no useful correlation between the conduct of law or medicine, on the one hand, and literature on the other. You can have a career as a lawyer or a doctor. As a writer, you are always starting out afresh. Age and experience may teach you some tricks, but it will not touch your work with magic."
He's so right. Sometimes I think the more I learn about the mechanics of writing (which I love learning about) the less I write, and the less of worth I write. It's all a bit depressing though, isn't it? All we can look forward to. as writers, is worse books, less publication and continued poverty. Sigh.
Read the rest of what he had to say here.