Thursday, October 16, 2014

Taking Up Writing in Retirement

Recently, a friend of mine on Facebook posted someone's comment about being a writer.  The professional writer was offended, because the person said that, after their retirement, they planned to try writing a book.  The professional writer thought that was akin to them reversing the tables and saying that, after retirement, they wanted to take up brain surgery. 

I understand the reason for the feeling of offense.  The professional writer has taken years to master a very difficult craft.  They feel that those years are devalued when the newly retired person claims that they can write a book, too - as if all of those years of work by the professional are worth nothing. 

But, I feel the sting of the criticism, too.  5 years ago, I started writing music.  To the person who has been writing music for many years and honing their craft, this might be perceived as devaluing the number of years it took for them to get where they are.  But, for me, it just doesn't feel that way.  I am astounded that I can actually write a song.  I realize all too well that my songs, so far, have been simplistic and unlikely to appeal to a wide audience.  I am amazed that some of them have actually been enjoyed by several different audiences.   Rather than making me devalue the years professional song-writers spent to develop their craft, it has made me appreciate MORE how difficult it is to write a song that is really good. 

So, to the author who is offended that some totally inexperienced writer thinks s/he might want to write a book, I say:  let them go to it.  They will soon realize that good books are hard to write and they will appreciate your skill even more.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha like that ..... after retirement, they wanted to take up brain surgery.