Wednesday, February 17, 2010


by Michael Dymmoch

Thought I’d have more time to write when I retired from my day job.


Having a day job gives you a structure that doesn’t allow for much procrastination. Anything that’s not absolutely necessary gets put away for weekends or for when I’m retired and have more time.

When you retire, all those I-OWE-MEs come due. You get Photoshop because you were always going to fix those great pictures that were a little over or underexposed. You dust off your Languages 102 CDs. You buy an exercise bike or yoga video so you can finally get in shape to be seen in public in a bathing suit.

But you never get to use any of them because…

You get emails for meetings of organizations you’ve never before had time to attend and you say, “What the hell. I don’t have to work tomorrow.”

You watch Charlie Rose at 2:00 am because he has a fascinating guest and you don’t have to get up for work.

You start a 570 page best selling romance just to see what such a thing is like. And you stay up all night reading it because—even though you keep telling yourself, “This is crap.”—the writer knows how to keep you turning pages.

You agree to read—and maybe blurb—a first novel. Or a poetry anthology. Or submissions for a competition being held by some organization you belong to.

And you still have to cook and eat and sleep and bathe, do laundry, clean the cat box, shop, get your car serviced (or take public transportation everywhere if you’ve ditched your car). You still have to drop everything if a friend needs help. You still have to call your kids (mother, siblings, friends).

But as you get older, everything takes more time. And your ability to keep focused deteriorates. And when you stop to smell the roses, you start to notice how many varieties there are. And how many other species of fascinating creatures you may never have known existed. You get hooked on books and cable shows other people raved about for years that you’ve never before had time to check out. You start a new novel because you get this terrific idea. But you never seem to get back to the one you were working on before…