Dear Miss Snark,
Yesterday, I read on an agent's blog (not one of your listed friends) that no one wants to publish a first novel by a 70+ year old because even if the publishers would want more books from that author, they would not want to risk waiting until he/she reaches the age of 80. Thus, she implied she would not handle anything by a senior citizen. Is youth only now an unwritten criterion for acceptable first novels among many agents and publishers now?
As if young writers do not suddenly drop dead or lose the spark.
Tell me it ain't so.
Sorry, it's true.
It's even true here. One of the things I look for is whether a novelist will be a good investment ie will s/he be earning for a number of years to come.
I don't ask people's ages, and if I truly loved a book I'd take it but yes, I'm sorry to say, it's a consideration.
Yes, I know it's unfair. That doesn't mean it's not how the world works.
Yes, I know young writers drop dead unexpectedly but the key word there is unexpectedly. If you are 70 I hope you'll have many more happy and productive years. Actuaries tell us "many" will be about 12. At 35, "many" is 50. All things being equal, knowing you can't read the future, which would you choose?
None of that means you shouldn't write, shouldn't query, and shouldn't work toward your goal. The fact that it's harder for you doesn't mean you give up. If you're 70, you learned that lesson a long time ago, right?
Geezer Lit defined here