Why Are There So Few Great Writers In Their 20s Today?

Tara would LOVE to hear from you and your 20’s shenanigans 😀

Tara Sparling writes

Why Are There So Few Great Writers In Their 20s Today?

In the last century, great writers achieved their greatness far earlier than they do now. Granted, they died earlier too, of fashionable afflictions such as bacterial infections, addiction, suicide, and the spleen; but it wasn’t uncommon for writers to be well on the road to superstardom and inclusion in the grand literary canon by the end of their twenties. So why are our great writers now so old, when they do great things?

James Joyce had written the genesis of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by the time he was 22, and finished Dubliners before he hit 30. Franz Kafka was dead at 40, leaving behind a considerable body of work. Ernest Hemingway published The Sun Also Rises at the age of 27.

In other fields, successful artists are much younger. Popular musicians generally achieve career highs in their 20s, or earlier, as accomplished at their craft as…

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10 thoughts on “Why Are There So Few Great Writers In Their 20s Today?

  1. then were different times. Byron was the Lord. Tolstoy was a Count. Also, the relationships, either in publishing, or interpersonal were different. Now, in these fast, technological times, even if imost of them showed up, many of them would have no chance. definitely the quality will be recognized, but we need to wait for the new golden age in literature 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Maybe it has to do with the amount of books you can sell at that age. Your target group would be people your own age – and let’s face it: Reading has gone a little out of fashion these days. Too much else to do.

    The younger authors on the other hand have not experienced enough extraordinary things. You need a certain perspective to write.

    And don’t give me “But the Brontës could write when young” – well they DID have a life very unlike today’s 20 somethings: Their mother died when Emily was 3. Emily had been teaching at a school and even been abroad for some time.
    Their life was dominated by books and painting for entertainment, no TV, no internet.
    Those times WERE different.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I believe this is because more young people go to university now than ever before. Twenty something’s take on high powered positions, buy homes and have families later. Therefore time to write gets later and later as there is little free time. But the stories of older people are full of depth and experience and written with less distraction. just my opinion.

    Liked by 3 people


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