Blogging easier or harder in retirement?

eight hours on the front porch

Arthur – you know Arthur – asked:

Now that you’ve had a bit of time to adjust, do you find blogging easier or harder to do now that you’re retired? Anything else stand out as being harder or easier to do now?

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, actually. The summers have always been tricky because one doesn’t want to be shut off in the office while the family is around.

Fall 2019: it was quite productive, actually. Time to do those pieces that might take a little longer.

March 2020: At the beginning of the pandemic, my wife was teaching school from the dining table. This was really awkward; if I wanted to do anything downstairs, such as washing dishes in the kitchen, or watching TV in the living room, I felt that I was intruding on her classroom. Meanwhile, my daughter was sequestered in her bedroom. So I pretty much HAD to be in the office or the bedroom. This was advantageous for blogging.

When I petitioned for her to use the spare bedroom for her teaching, she initially resisted. But she soon found its advantages, not just teaching but for ZOOM church meetings, and the like. The daughter then would go downstairs and listen to her classes on the living room sofa. Again, I retreat to the office, which was good for blogging.

Blogging on the road is easier when I’m alone, virtually impossible when I’m with others. Back in the day, I’d go down to the “business center” and use one of the public machines. But now, I’m not able to remember to gather up all the things I need (clothes, room key) before leaving in the dark. Typing in the bathroom is not only suboptimal to me, but audible to the others.

Quit the blog?

But, and this might be an age thing, but I really can’t blog at night anymore. The best time on weekdays is from when I get up until my daughter leaves for school, with certain regular interruptions. They would be making sure my daughter’s up, watching 90 seconds of news at 7 a.m., saying goodbye to my wife, feeding the cats, and not hovering (as she puts it) when my daughter leaves.

And when I was having major problems with the technology of the blog, when it was down for 28 hours, and when it was assaulted by malware, it was really difficult. I dithered between quitting blogging and going back to my arcane Blogger blog that I used for the first five years. Unlike you, I never had a technological mentor.

The melancholy means it’s been much harder recently to blog. And NOT blogging makes me MORE melancholy. So my pieces in the queue have shrunk to about three dozen when six months ago, it was about five dozen. Given many are evergreen pieces I’ll only use if I’m desperate, or dead, I’m not all that far ahead.

Time is on my side. Yes, it is.

On non-blogging issues, I’ve found I have the capacity to actually access my bank, the credit union of my wife and me, and my primary credit card, all online. I check them all about twice a week, move money from our savings to checking on the joint account, and pay off the credit card each month. It wasn’t difficult, it just required time.

I know I say this a lot, but it’s no less true for that. I’m too busy to work. No way I do the ZOOM event for the library, for which I got an award if I’m employed.

Of course, this means that some people think I’m readily available. Not really. I did spend eight hours sitting on the front porch with my oldest friend from college. But I had to find a day I wasn’t working on something or going to the doctor or doing the shopping I promised to do, or…

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Blogging easier or harder in retirement?”

  1. I’m still employed, still working (perhaps in some ways harder than before), but I’ve definitely found blogging harder during the pandemic. First, because the focus of my life shrunk down for so many months to “keep myself safe” and “work under conditions that are far less than ideal.” Now, I find I’m not DOING anything much than my usual boring day-to-day life, and other than your blog, I don’t read that many blogs any more (no time) so there’s less cross-pollination than there once was.

    I think also, yeah, I’m fighting melancholy, like a lot of other people are right now. I’ve toyed with the idea of either ending the blog or maybe mothballing it in case some time in the future things get better enough that I’ve got interesting things to write about again, but it’s also hard to bring myself to do that. (I suppose a compromise would be to stop trying to blog five or six days a week)

    Also knowing I have fewer readers – and fewer commenters – than in the heyday of blogs – makes me less motivated to write.

  2. Interesting—and kind of what I was expecting, to be honest. Most of the people I know who’ve retired say they’re busier than when they were working. I can relate to what you’re saying, even though I’m not officially retired, because there are plenty of times it all just seems too hard.

    There’s actually not a single week in which I don’t seriously think about just quitting. Part of it is how difficult it’s become, but also, like fillyjonk, part of that is that I feel I have less to talk about, and especially because the blog’s readership is now a tiny fraction of what it once was. I continue because, like you, I feel better when I do than when I don’t. For now, anyway.

    And, you’re right: I had an excellent technology tutor. He left me well prepared for those sorts of challenges. I’ve even blogged about a couple…

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