Last week I discovered there is a name for what I do. I write boomer lit. Now I have a genre. I’m not a romance writer, a mystery writer, an essayist. I’m a Boomer Lit writer.
Prize winning author, Toni Morrison, said, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Why I’m Writing Boomer Lit
I started writing Boomer Lit a couple of years ago when I grew tired of reading about fictional and real people having crises when they turned 40.
In both fiction and nonfiction literature, it seemed that anyone over 40 was considered over the hill. In all those stories, life for anyone over 40 was meaningless. I didn’t want to read about problems I’d already faced and conquered. I didn’t want to hear any whining about things I’d already done. I was over 50, living a pretty good, meaningful, exciting life and expecting life to just get better as I aged.
In typical Boomer fashion, I believed life is about the journey and not the destination. So quieten the whining and get on with your journey.
I had already lived through these so-called crises. I just wanted good stories. Spare me the hand-wringing details.
So, since I couldn’t find characters who were my age that I could admire and enjoy reading about and were not a bunch of whining youngsters with problems with their marriages and their self-images and their lipstick shade and their changing hormones…Well, I just made up my own characters and started writing about them
I wanted to read books about women like myself – older than 50, living a fulfilling life, confronting new problems with the wisdom gained from experience, and reinventing themselves – but there weren’t that many out there. The few that I did find focused on much older women than I. The heroines of these stories were elderly (elderly being defined as at least 15 years older than any age that I am currently.)
There’s still a lot of life left in women my age. I wanted to read about that. So I wrote my own stories. And I will continue to write more.
What is Boomer Lit?
Boomer lit is a whole new genre that’s just come into its own. Since the Baby Boomers have turned 50 and older, we’ve demanded stories that focus on us…our problems, our loves, our desires, our dreams, our…well, our selves.
Our Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, may not the Greatest Generation, but we are darn sure an interesting generation. And apparently we like to read and write about ourselves so much that we’ve created a whole new genre in literature. All for us and all about us!
We Boomers are so self-absorbed and interested in ourselves that we had to create a whole new area in the book store devoted just to us. I say…Bully for the Boomers! (In case you’re too young to know…bully is sometimes used to denote good stuff, like when Teddy Roosevelt said “bully!”)
Since I couldn’t find any characters I could admire and emulate who were my age and not a bunch of whining youngsters with problems with their marriages and their self-images and their lipstick shade and their changing hormones…Well, I just made up my own characters and started writing about them.
My first novel in the Boomer Lit genre is The Big 5-0. It features those 50-something characters that are so like my friends and me.