Literary (and other) late bloomers: analyzed by Malcolm Gladwell, Part 3

Alfred Hitchcock made many of his best films in his late 50s.

The difference, I suppose, between prodigies and late bloomers is that the latter are basically lazy, unfocused procrastinators. Ha, ha! Just kidding! As a budding late bloomer, I like to start things out with some self-deprecating humor. It lightens the mood, and helps me cope with the stress of being asked thousands of times: “Are you done with that book yet?”

The simple answer to the late bloomer/prodigy dichotomy is that everyone is different. True, but how? Malcolm Gladwell examined this question in a wonderful New Yorker article a few years back. Gladwell relied on the research of University of Chicago economist David Galenson, who posited that while the creative processes of prodigies tends to be “conceptual” (they have a strong idea and they execute it), for late bloomers it is more an “experimental” method, involving such activities as research and trial and error. (Hmm… sounds familiar.)

Well, back to the book..