If you’re lamenting your age or wish you’d already hit certain milestones (and I’m certainly part of that group!), I’d like you to meet one of my heroes—Harry Bernstein. He famously said, “My 90s were the most productive years of my life.”
At 96, he published his first book, The Invisible Wall, to wide acclaim after it sat on a desk at Random House’s London office for over a year. At 98, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue his writing. He wrote over 40 books over his life but destroyed almost all of the manuscripts after they were rejected by multiple publishers. He made a living as a Hollywood script reader and as an editor of a construction trade magazine.
I’m impressed by his tenacity and refusal to give up on his craft. He wrote his first published pieces in the wake of his wife’s passing as a form of therapy. They were married for 7 decades. He embraced his creativity to the very end, passing away at 101.
Harry Bernstein didn’t give up and you shouldn’t either, no matter how old you are and no matter how many obstacles you face. I hope I publish my first book before I’m 96, and if I don’t, that’s okay. I’m in good company with Harry. Keep creating.