At 23, as a shiny new MFA graduate, I stumbled upon Deborah Spark'sTwenty Under Thirty, an anthology that collected the early works of rising stars in contemporary fiction. From this book and the convoluted thinking of youth, I imagined a certain expiration date on writing success. If I don't publish X by age 27, I'm finished. As I passed 27, then 37 and finally 40, I began to take a longer view about publishing careers and realized how silly it was to think that authorship possessed some sort of expiration date.

Then I looked around my community of writers on Facebook and found six amazing women who started publishing after 40. I reached out to them for motivational advice for writers over 40. So here's 6 pieces of advice from authors who didn't let turning 40 stop them from achieving their publishing goals.

"We need your wisdom so you'd better start now."-- Kathryn Craft, 58, is the author ofThe Art of Falling (Sourcebooks) and The Far End of Happy, due May 2015.

"Be honest in your writing. Dig deep. If you are crying when you're writing part of your book, good. It'll come out in your story and you'll make your readers cry. If you're laughing while you're writing part of your book, excellent. You'll make your readers laugh."-- Cathy Lamb, 47, her first novel, Julia's Chocolates (Kensington Publishing), was published when she was forty, in 2007. Her latest book, What I Remember Most, was published in 2014.

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