Despite my busy schedule over the weekend, I managed to read Susan Kaye Quinn's The Legacy Human, first part of the Singularity series. It's about a teenage boy who's an artist, and he has to compete against other teenage artists for the chance to win immortality not just for himself, but for his dying mother. It's a good book,fast-paced and thought-provoking, and it's the current front-runner for my Hugo nomination. However, one of the issue it makes me think about might not be what Quinn had in mind.
In her world, teens compete to ascend (be transferred to an augmented state) because they're most likely to survive the process. Given that the youths apparently don't have to work or go to school (which could explain some of the problems in their society), it's plausible that they could practice enough to master their art. But what kind of life experiences or perspectives can one accumulate in less than two decades? Is this system fair to the late bloomers--assuming that the losers or those not picked for the competition would bother continuing their art with no hope of the big reward? Even a prodigy like Mozart benefited from maturity. Perhaps as a middle-aged writer, I'd rather read about characters closer to my age, ones more likely to inspire me, than ones I'm now old enough to parent. There are certainly real-life examples of people being creative at every stage of life, from Mozart to Grandma Moses.
Do you feel age makes a difference in creativity? Do you think it's harder to have a creative mind as one gets older? Alternatively, how does one preserve a creative mindset as one gets older. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.