Death and Writers

While reading my Winter 2007 edition of Authors Guild Bulletin, I was struck by an inescapable truth about writers and longevity. Writers seem to live longer than the average person.

There were 30 obituaries listed in this edition. The age of death of these 30 writers who died were:

50's -- 1
60's -- 3
70's -- 5
80's -- 12
90's -- 8.

Now I'm no statistician, but it seems obvious that writers have found the secret to longevity.

Want to hear another interesting stat? Of these senior citizens, 12 had published in the last 10 years. Indeed, the oldest who published during that time period was Rosamond Carr who died at 94 last September. She beat out Norman Salsitz who died at 86 and published as recently as 2003.

I've noticed this before when I've read the obits. Writers live long and productive lives. Why do you think this is? Because they put their emotions in their writing instead of letting the emotions fume inside them? Because they are doing something they love? Because they are still capable of being productive long after they've lost the ability to jog around the block or mow the lawn? Probably for all those reasons.

So if you are a writer, be of good cheer. You just may have a cup to be filled from the fountain of youth.

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