Could you retire?
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the impression Kathleen Gilles Seidel had on me when I and Pru Warren interviewed her on our podcast, The Writers’ Block Party. She is such an incredibly strong voice in the world of Romance. She’s not only written Rita winning books, but also has a Ph.D. in literature and is one of the best lecturers I’ve ever had the pleasure to take a seminar from (she always talk at the Washington Romance Writers’ Annual Retreat and I haven’t missed her talk in over ten years!).
But Kathy is not over 70 years old and she, in her own words, “is tired.” She told me that, for the most part, stories have stopped “speaking to her” and when they do, she shoves them away. She wants nothing to do with new stories.
Kathy is retired.
She now does “old lady stuff” like taking flower arranging classes, sewing, and playing with her grandchildren.
The concept of retirement is… well, my brain just can get around it, can’t comprehend it. What does she mean when she says she ignores the stories in her head? How does one do that?
I’ve got so many ideas, I keep a list. I’ve got at least three series of books written down because if I don’t write them down they nag at me while I’m trying to write my current series. Once I’ve written them down, they’re happy knowing that I will get to them when I’ve got the time.
I talk about retirement with my husband (he’s turning 60 this year) and I know that when he retires in 3-5 years, I’m going to “retire” as well. I’ll stop my formatting and book coaching work, but writing? No! Uh-uh. That I will continue to do until I physically can’t any longer.
Oh, yes, I enjoyed a break from writing last summer when I was busy moving from Europe, back to the US, and then to Ukraine—I didn’t write for nearly a month. It was the longest break I’ve taken in over fifteen years, but I thought about it. I wanted to write, I just didn’t actually have the time. And I was in between stories, so it worked out pretty well to take a break just then.
But to just stop writing. Forever.
That’s a huge thing for a writer. Do you think you could do it?