Why baby boomers write books

love dreamers

We have from time to time talked about boomer lit on the pages of Caleb and Linda Pirtle.  I still don’t know for sure what is meant by the term, but for purposes of this blog I am defining it as books written by people who were born before 1965. That is a strictly arbitrary definition.  But, hey, it’s my blog.

I have done no scientific study to determine where on the age spectrum most Indie authors lie, but I am confident that a good percentage of them, maybe half or more, fall in the boomer category.

Why are so many boomers writing books?

Some possible reasons:

1.  They grew up reading pulp fiction and never got it out of their systems.

2. They grew up reading classic novels and never got them out of their systems.

3.  They worked hard all their lives and aren’t ready to quit now.

4.  They believe they have something worth saying.

5.  They are inveterate dreamers, not visionaries, dreamers.  Young people have visions, old people dream dreams.

Number five is really the crux of the matter.

Boomers have had little time to dream.

Until now.

And one of the most enduring dreams they have, especially when they realize they can’t live forever,  is the desire to write a book.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do not mean to suggest that most boomers have never tried their hand at writing until recent days. On the contrary, countless novels, or pieces of novels, lie in the bottom of their desk drawers.  Some have written since their youth, occasional pieces, newspaper articles, magazine features.

For the boomers all that is prelude.

It is the book that matters.  The book that has gnawed at them while they sat at board meetings, distracted them as they built cities and fought wars, beckoned to them when they stopped along the road at a scenic overlook and gazed on a mountain peak so far out of reach.

Neither is it a matter of leaving a legacy.  All humans yearn to do that.

For the boomer the need to write is a primal need for self-expression,  an act of self-realization.  If someone reads the book, the boomer considers it a plus. If few find it, the value of the book remains undiminished.  The book is not subject to the whims of readers. It is oblivious to the praise or condemnation of the critics.

For it is an extension of the person, a project into which she has poured her very essence.

Such an act, the creation of something from nothing, is the stuff dreams are made of.

And dreams are what make boomers tick.



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