Monday, March 2, 2015

When Does a Writer Retire?

As I approach my seventy-sixth birthday, I often wonder when I’ll stop writing novels. My non-writing friends, while leading busy, active lives, are no longer working. Their careers have come to an end. But my writing friends continue to write, publish and promote books. They often attend conferences, regardless of their ages.

I've just signed a contract to publish the sequel to my kids' novel, RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK, entitled RUFUS AND THE WITCH'S SLAVE.  I’m currently writing the sequel to GIVING UP THE GHOST. After that, I plan to start the third in my Rufus series. And so I continue to write books, but I must admit I’m writing them much more slowly than I used to.

This could be due to major changes in my personal life: a new love. a granddaughter about to turn two, another grandchild on the way. Life has a way of impacting our writing time and concentration, whether we admit it or not.

Writing novels is an important part of my life, and I plan to continue to write books as long as I can.  How many of you, my fellow writers, think you'll retire in the near future? Is so, why or why not?

19 comments:

Unknown said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm 85 and published my first book a month before my 80th birthday. I got busy and have 4 books in print, another in final edit (after an editor and a great beta reader took a look). Plans for another one plus a couple of short stories. Who's slowing down?
Norma Huss

Palmaltas said...

I'm a year younger than you, Marilyn, and I'm slowing down. But, instead of writing novels, I've decided to concentrate on short stories. I have zillions of ideas and I want to write them. Whether I will live long enough to do that, I don't know. But I shall continue writing.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Norma,
Good for you! Keep on writing!

Pat,
Writing short stories is an excellent idea. (gee, I always thought you were a few months older than me )

Jana Richards said...

I hope to keep writing until I can no longer form coherent sentences :) Maybe in the future my writing will change like Pat's has, but I think I will continue to write something.

Patricia Gligor said...

Marilyn,
Since being an author was all I ever wanted to be, I don't plan to quit ever. It took me a long, long time to begin to achieve my goal. Life and a full-time job always got in my way. But, no more! Now that I'm "retired," I plan to write until I drop.

Diane Kidman said...

I can't imagine ever stopping. When I was 7 years old, I started telling everyone I was going to be an author when grew up. I'm now working on my 12th book, and I feel like I'm just getting started. There are no plans to retire. I couldn't bear it.

vicki batman said...

I don't know. After Handsome's cancer treatment, my whole writing life went topsy turvy. I had to make some changes because every day with him is more important than most anything. I like writing, but may go back to only short fiction as it seems to fit my lifestyle better.

Judy Alter said...

Like Patricia I'll keep writing until someone tells me I'm producing drivel. I've been writing frantically since I retired four years ago but am slowing down--no nice new love (how nice for you, Marilyn) but lots of grandchildren business and life in general gets in the new. I'm not a recluse, so my many friends, blogging, reviewing, etc. also take time.

Marja said...

Marilyn, I have to ask. Was your age a typo? You don't look anywhere near 76! And if it's not a typo, tell us your secret. : )

I'll keep writing as long as I can come up with story ideas. I think I'd be bored without my writing.

Marja McGraw

Kaye George said...

Like most of you, I won't quit until someone orders me to. I've been writing my whole life. It took my an awful long time to receive an acceptance. I'll keep going until my batteries run out.

Helen Macie Osterman said...

I started writing novels in 1997.
Now, I'm an octogenarian and still going strong. I'll write as long as I can think and come up with good stories. I don't think there is a number when one should stop being creative.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thank you Jana, Pat, Diane, Vicki, Judy, Marja, Kaye, and Helen for you wonderful comments. I had a few of you in mind when I wrote this.

Marja, that's no typo. Thanks for your kind comment.It made my day.

Vicki, I know how one's life can be turned topsy turvy by a spouse's illness. I didn't write for the 7 months my husband was ill. After he died, I began writing again. That's the wonderful thing about writing—you can do it several hours a day, twice a week, or return to it after a hiatus. For many of us it's our way of life.

Marilyn Levinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nell Demaree said...

I guess I'll be writing until my mind goes, and maybe even a little bit after that. I'm much younger than you. I'm closer to 66 than 67.

Eileen Obser said...

Like you, Marilyn, I have no plan to stop writing. As Neil says, "until my mind goes" I'll be here with my yellow pad and the computer, getting the words down, sharing them with others. That's the joy of life to me -- and to our fellow writers. Great blog.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

So long as we have breath and brain, we can write. Although our writing may be tempered by anguish or happiness (Olivia getting a sibling?), no one can take the joy or sorrow of writing away from us.

The Stiletto Gang said...

I've passed the 80 mark and I can't imagine life without writing. I have lots of other things going on--18 grands and 15 greats--plus family happenings, but as long as I'm able I'll be writing.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

That Stiletto Gang comment is from me.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Nell & Eileen,
I think writing keeps our mind from going.

Debra,
I'm with you—breath and brain are to major requirements to keep on writing.

Marilyn,
I had you in mind when I wrote this blog. I'm in awe of your energy level and the way you go on and on.