I was messing around on the internet this afternoon and discovered that Annie Proulx, the woman who wrote both ‘The Shipping News’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’, did not start writing fiction until the age of 50. That's five-zero. She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for the former, and I remember reading the latter when it was first published in The New Yorker, as a short story in 1997.
It's pretty amazing that I can vividly recall that reading experience almost 10 years ago, when I can't remember the names of countries or the presidents of those countries or people I've met the day before. But that’s what reading a short story can be at times, a distinct experience with its own memory. And that's a fact both humbling and hopeful to a struggling writer of short stories.