When I retired from teaching seven years ago I gave up golf and started writing. I don’t miss the golf.
Writing relaxes me. Sure it can be frustrating when you lose sight of a character, or the sound of a voice, or you don’t anticipate a roadblock in your plot, or can’t align even the right words to give a sentence rhythm. And there are days when you can spend the morning taking out a word, and the afternoon putting it back.
But mostly writing enables me to escape from a world that doesn’t make sense, to one that does. A world where the setbacks, disappointments and failures that characters experience can be offset by the joy, beauty and compassion that enable them to prevail.
What do I have to show for the past seven years? Three novels, a couple of dozen short stories, and a bunch of personal articles on subjects that matter to me: technology, education, time, humour, family, books and the quirks and quiddities that make people interesting in different ways—kind of like the imaginary characters who pop into my head and make me want to know them better.
I write their stories so I can find out what happens to them in the end.
It’s way more fun than golf. For one thing, writing allows you to go out of bounds without penalty. For another, it makes you a more appreciative reader.