When Enough Is Enough: Age and the Creative Impulse

Contrary to what one may imagine, age, not youth, is more likely to be a time of scatter—of mind, of action, of intention, of desire.
    —Lynn Freed

In this edition of Narrative Outloud, author and cofounder Carol Edgarian talks with her longtime friend Lynn Freed, a writer whose wit and contrarian wisdom are legendary. Join us for a spell of writer talk, followed by Lynn reading her award-winning essay, “When Enough Is Enough: Age and the Creative Impulse.” It’s all here, at Narrative Outloud.

On getting older:

Lynn: I’ve always been interested in old people—you know, I have a novel that’s just out about old people. I’ve been interested in old people since I was a child. So now that I’m an old person, I’ve been terribly interested in what happens to the creative . . . spark is not the word . . . I think it’s a form of self-definition.


Carol: Preoccupation?


Lynn: Well, if you’re lucky.


On the writing process:

Carol: Do you hear your voice as you’re typing?


Lynn: Yes, I chat, I talk, I type. And I’ve been doing this for numbers of books. I didn’t do it in the beginning, but then suddenly I started yapping away.


Carol: Yeah, I do as well. And I find you get to the more authentic voice faster, and you can also hear the bullshit.


Lynn: Right, exactly. From myself and from others.