Writing life after Retirement

I’m Retired!!!

They say to wait until you make enough money writing to replace your job before you quit. My social security pretty much covers what I made at my part-time job. So, I think that qualifies.  Now that we are at last empty-nesters, our expenses have dropped significantly. I’ve worked part-time in some capacity for over 20 years. And before that, I homeschooled my five children for 15 years. Yep, and I still have most of my mind intact.

Choosing my own time to write.

I am a morning person. My most creative time is before noon. On my days off from work, I devoted my mornings to writing. Now I have every morning to write. Some may feel the need to hit the ground running. Me? I’d trip and fall in the process. Last week as my first full week of retirement. I took it slow. I need to figure out my new normal. Design a schedule that works for me and my husband. He is a writer too. We are also doing some rehab on our home and have ten grandchildren to spend time with. Did I mention I have five children? They have spouses. So yeah, it’s easy to get distracted from my writing goals.

Why retire?

When I was asked why I was retiring, I replied it’s time. I needed to devote more time to the thing I love—crafting stories. The company I worked for is now a new company under new management and the changes were—well changes. And some new software is on the way.

It was time. Stress from work made it hard to focus on writing. Wearing a mask for hours made me exhausted at the end of the day. And I’d felt God ‘s nudge back in 2019 that 2020 would be the year I would retire.

Is writing a real job?

Some who asked were the people who work those few-hours-a-week jobs to keep themselves busy. They had no idea how busy I would be writing every day. Most people haven’t a clue about all that is involved in creating a novel and marketing it. Even my son asked if I was going to get another job. He knows I have novels published. Yet, in his mind, it’s not a job. I love the sweet man and let his remark fade in the background.

Picking up the pace

Now on week two, I am ready to hit the ground at a quick walk. I have a to-do list and have scheduled my day to include time for things other than writing. I need to learn new marketing and find ways to improve my social media presence to name a few.  I’m more rested, less stressed, and looking forward to the days ahead. I’m sure I’ll continue to adjust my schedule as I navigate my new normal. So far it is everything I imagined it would be.

Have you retired from your job to write full-time? What does your day look like? Curious minds want to know.

 

 

A peek at Sherri Stewart’s newest work and a giveaway

Sherri Stewart is my special guest today. Like me, she is a Jubilee Writer. One who started her career later in life. I am so encouraged by her life message and her newest release.

Welcome, Sherri. I always like to start out these interviews learning about my guest’s writing journey.

I came to writing late in life, but my publisher has been helpful in keeping her writers busy writing for new series and collections. I’ve had a lot of careers: French teacher, Principal, Flight Attendant, and Immigration Attorney, which inform my writing a great deal. Word Weavers International opened my eyes to the world of writing and helped me improve. Now I run a freelance editing business and have too much work since March when the pandemic began. I guess there are a lot of writers who dusted off old projects during the last five months.

As busy as you are you’ve managed to get another of your own projects done. Tell us a bit about it.

The Promise Keeper is a romance novella that will also be part of a Christmas collection. The common theme is “Misstletoe,” missed chances. Readers who enjoyed Serendipity, An Affair to Remember, and Sleepless in Seattle will like this book.

I’m intrigued. I loved those movies.

All writers do research on some level to bring realism to their work. How do you research your books?

First, I read every book I can find on the period and place in which the book takes place. I watch every documentary on Prime and on YouTube. There’s a goldmine of information on YouTube. So for my latest release, The Promise Keeper, the characters meet in London at an Eagles’ concert, so I bought tickets to their concert at Wembley Stadium, and if the characters eat at a specific restaurant, I eat at the restaurant—even order the same food. I walk the streets to get a feel for the architecture, the atmosphere, the smells, etc. Sadly, because of the COVID virus, I had to cancel my trip to the UK. But I’ve been studying the Welsh language for the last six months, and I’ve watched every travel film I could find on Wales. Fortunately, some of the book took place in Atlanta so we were able to visit without fear of spreading the virus to other lands.

I appreciate that you didn’t let COVID keep you from your research. There is so much available information out there without traveling to a location. I love how immersed you get in your research. Can’t wait to read The Promise Keeper. We authors often get a germ of an idea that evolves from there. What inspired you to write your book?

I’m not a big chick-flick fan, but I have my favorites—Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, and Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity. In fact, it was Serendipity that made me start thinking, what if? There’s something charming about destiny bringing two people together, yet it’s even more exciting if the God who created us has a special someone in mind for us, and He brings us together in creative ways. That’s the essence of the providence of God. So I started thinking: What if God had two Americans who live far apart meet up in another country? Since they’d eventually return to their own homes, they’d have to make plans to meet up sometime in the future. Wales came to mind. I don’t know why because I’ve never been there, but since choosing Wales, I’ve fallen in love with the country and have been studying Welsh, which is a daunting language.

Wow! What a wonderful premise. Thank you so much for giving us a peek into your writing process and your upcoming novella.

A bit more about my guest:

Sherri Stewart loves a clean novel, sprinkled with romance, and a strong message that challenges her faith. She spends her working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing her own. Her passion is traveling to the settings of her books, sampling the food, and visiting the sites. Sadly, her research for The Promise Keeper trip to Wales and London was canceled due to COVID, but she did visit Atlanta, and she’s still learning Welsh for a future visit. A recent widow, Sherri lives in the Orlando area with her lazy dog, Lily, and her son, Joshua, who can fix anything. She shares recipes, tidbits of the book’s locations, and pix in her newsletter. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9

A giveaway- who doesn’t love those.

 Sherri will do a giveaway of The Promise Keeper. Leave a comment here on teh blog for a chance to win. She’ll choose a winner on Friday to receive either a paperback or e-book copy.

Link for The Promise Keeper: https://amzn.to/2Y07QP0

 

Connect with Sherri Stewart

https://www.amazon.com/author/sherristewart/ 

https://www.facebook.com/sherristewartauthor/

https://twitter.com/machere

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/758893.Sherri_Stewart

www.stewartwriting.com

https://www.instagram.com/stewart_sherri/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherri-stewart

 

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