Writing into retirement


I am now ten weeks in to retirement [and still smiling] and very soon my retirement will be our retirement when Mr BOTRA joins me.  I am looking forward to a shared retirement and with warmer weather and opportunities to get out and about much more I have been thinking hard about my writing life and in particular how often I post on my Back On The Road Again blog.  Last year I set myself the goal of publishing posts twice a week as I built up the blog.  I have mostly achieved this with occasional failures [for which I beat myself up about of course].  In addition, over the last year I have written a travel article at least once a month and submitted shorter articles and campsite reviews and I have tried to keep on top of my Memorial Bench Stories blog.  In the last twelve months I have worked at practicing my writing at least five days a week in an effort to improve my writing and create some discipline and structure to what I do.

Despite all this practicing I have never really managed to become a fast producer of words and my craft is slow.  I spend hours editing even a short 400 word article, reading and re-reading to find just the right words and put them in what I think is the best order.  In addition, for every piece of writing you see there are hours of background research.  I really enjoy this aspect of writing as it feels like studying and learning and reminds me of those happy days as a student.  It doesn’t matter that much of what I learn never makes it on to the page.

During the last year my Back On The Road Again blog has taken up lots of my energy at the expense of my Memorial Bench Stories blog, never mind other new ideas I have in my head.  Although I feel proud to tell people I am a travel writer, I have other aims and plans for retirement and I want to leave time for study and reflection.  And so I feel it is now the moment for blogging to take up a little less of my time.  Although I intend to continue to make time to write almost every day during the next year, some of this writing may be just for me and may even involve pen and paper rather than a keyboard.  The retirement of Mr BOTRA represents real retirement and I feel ready to now really shift gear as I move in to my new retired life.

My revised goal is to publish a blog post here at least once a week.  This new ‘regime’ [I am in no way pretending this is a tough target] might give me time to write other blogs, space to complete around six travel articles a year and continue writing a few short articles.  This will also give me time to travel, to exercise, to find out new and interesting facts and just be.  It should also give me space for new and exciting projects [some of which I haven’t even had time to dream up yet].  So here we go!


Author: Back on the Road Again Blog

I write two blogs, one about my travels in our campervan and living well and frugally and the second about the stories behind the people commemorated in memorial benches.

2 thoughts on “Writing into retirement”

  1. I hope you and Mr BOTRA enjoy your forthcoming ‘Gap Life’ together and understand your wish to write less for now – too many other things to do.

    I’m currently reading your article on NE Scotland in the April MMM Magazine. The ice cream sounded amazing. Your post is timely as we’ve just brought our retirement forward a whole year, mainly due to some health issues on my part, but also a realisation that ‘just one more year’ might be one year too much. I love my job (my wife hates hers) and could probably cope with another year to build up the retirement funds. But events over the past couple of weeks have made me realise that time is much more valuable than money. So my last working day at ‘On the Beach’ will be 31 May (Cathy will retire on 11 May). My notice went in on Monday – my boss was very understanding and not really surprised. I’ve talked about FIRE for a while, but never revealed dates or plans, so he knew the day would eventually come; he was very interested to hear about our FIRE journey and I sensed some similar thoughts from him. We’re looking forward to the future, although it is a bit scary to give up a well paid job I enjoy – I’ve worked full-time ever since the day after my last O level exam at the age of 15.

    So I really welcome your post-retirement thoughts. We have a few things we want to do – first winter trip in the campervan to Spain and Portugal, move back to live by the sea (offer accepted on a bungalow on the Llyn Peninsula and our house is up for sale), more walking, swimming and cycling. I want to write more blog posts as we travel and I’d like to give something back by volunteering for an Armed Forces charity.

    Scary but exciting times, but your posts really encourage us and help us realise it’s all achievable and ready to grasp with both hands. Thanks for that!


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: