So, I'm old. I've written what I think is a very readable book, and have just started sending out queries and begun another book. When writing, I have readers of my age bracket in mind.
This week an acquaintance (admittedly a jerk but often right) advised me not to bother with literary agents, as they would not want a first time author of my age. They would be looking for novelists of an age that might promise a longer career and more market interest. (To me, this is counter-intuitive to the burgeoning senior population and many seniors living into their vibrant 90's, but those are other discussions.)
I accept the dauntingly long odds every writer faces with a first book, but I don't want to waste my time. Go straight to self-publish as this person counseled or file the advice under wrongheaded input and keep going?
So, this jerk acquaintance of yours, he's an agent? Cause that's the only way he's going to know what agents want. And then, only what HE would want.
And unless you're writing your query letters on an manual Royal typewriter and including the idiotic phrase "I don't do email" how the HELL is someone going to know how old you are?
So what if Abe Lincoln was your date to the prom? I bet you've got some good stories about it.
Much of querying is conducted at a glacial pace, as is publishing in general. If you feel you're wasting your time by waiting, don't. Self-pub, and may you make a million dollars.
But, BUT I don't view it as wasted time, so much as time invested in your writing career. While you're waiting for those whippersnapper agents to get off their poorly punctuated asterisks and reply to your query, keep working. It's the WORK you love, right?