Cozy Mysteries discussion

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What do you think? > Link Between Writing And Longevity?

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message 1: by K.M. (new)

K.M. Barkley | 28 comments I think there is something to be said about writing and longevity. Granted, it won't be this way for every author, but I've heard quite a few examples of authors who have written well into their 80s and 90s and beyond. Phyllis A. Whitney published her last novel when she was 94, which I think is just amazing. I definitely think there's something to be said about people who still write at that age. It's good for keeping the mind active. What do you think?


message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 154 comments Writing not only keeps the mind active, but lets writers know that they can live in the future instead of only the past, keeps loneliness at bay, and keeps writers entertained.


message 3: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 19617 comments Mod
Studies have shown that those who write and engage in word games (crossword puzzles, Scrabble, trivia) do live longer. However, there are also a lot of writers who have suffered mental illness and/or committed suicide, including Sylvia Plath (who I am currently reading), Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Hunter S. Thompson. Many others have attempted it, including Raymond Chandler and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. One study in 2012 concluded that while mental illnesses can lead to creativity, writers are also twice as likely to attempt suicide. An interesting correlation, I think.


message 4: by K.M. (new)

K.M. Barkley | 28 comments I agree, Heather. Someone once said that with some creative people, their moods can sometimes be much darker, and they feel things much more deeply than the average person. But sometimes out of that darkness comes the most beautiful work.


message 5: by Nancy (new)

Nancy  Thames (mysterywriterdiva) | 24 comments Writing has given me new purpose after an empty nest - I've never felt more alive than now channeling my creative flow into Jillian and Teddy.


message 6: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I think ANYTHING that uses multiple parts of your brain will add to your longevity. That's why at zoos they try to incorporate things in the exhibits to entertain the brains of the animals. There's evidence that doing crosswords & sudokus help.


message 7: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 600 comments I don't know if writers live longer but while writing they have the chance to live lives different from their own. Also using your imagination to create something new is a terrific high so perhaps writers, while writing, have a better quality of life. Whenever I write, I'm on top of the world.


message 8: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 154 comments I started writing because I was bored and Sudoku wasn't enough, lol. Sherry, that's exactly the way I feel. Marketing is fun, too, and a great way to meet new people.


message 9: by Pearl (new)

Pearl Meaker (pearlrmeaker) | 27 comments I hope they're right. My genetics would say I won't live much longer than my mid to late 70s, and be sickly for about 3-4 years before I die. I turn 60 in September, so that doesn't leave me much wiggle room.


message 10: by Nancy (last edited Jul 31, 2014 12:10PM) (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 154 comments Pearl, genetics are just a starting point. That said, never put off doing what you love; you never know how much time you have.

I dedicated my first book to a friend who was always going to finish writing her book someday. She died of a brain tumor (three months from diagnosis to death) and said her one regret was not having finished a book so she could see her name in print. We threw together a micro publishing company and put out a book I had finished and put on a shelf never intending to do more with it so she could at least see her name in a book before she died.


message 11: by Pearl (new)

Pearl Meaker (pearlrmeaker) | 27 comments I remind myself of that often. So often we hear of (or know
of ) someone who dies suddenly from whatever cause. We really have no idea when our moment will come. That's why I chose to write a book at all.

I had been writing fanfiction and posting it to archives online and several of my regular readers kept saying I should shoot for writing something original that could be published, so I went for it.

My first novel, The Devil's Music, will be available Nov. 15th this year. So however long I have, I will have accomplished becoming a published author - something for which I'm amazed and grateful.

That was a wonderful thing you did for your friend. :-)


message 12: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 154 comments You realize book writing is addictive, though, don't you? You'll have one, but more will follow. I'm up to five mysteries, one novel about octogenarian bank robbers, and most recently I edited a cookbook called "Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes."


message 13: by Pearl (new)

Pearl Meaker (pearlrmeaker) | 27 comments I know. I wrote around 200 of the fanficiton stories, 4 of which were novella/novel length and I'm well into writing the next book in my mystery series. LOL

I'll have to look into the cookbook, it sounds fun. One can never have enough cozy food. :-)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

My first book (a cozyist mystery, of course) was published a month before my 80th birthday. After the 2-years contract ran out, I self-published it, another mystery, and a non-fiction. At 84, I'm about to self-publish a YA before grandchildren all get too old to be interested in it.

Hey, I'm looked forward to another twenty years of writing. (My mother lived to be 103.)


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 217 comments Way to go, Norma!

I do think that keeping the brain engaged--and writing is a career from which people don't seem to retire (maybe because we can do it without ever changing out of our PJs?)--helps people stay healthy longer.

And yes, it's addictive. I've been doing it all my life, and I'm just thrilled that now I get to be published and share my words with others.


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