Writing After Retirement: Tips from Successful Retired Writers
edited by Carol Smallwood and Christine Redman-Waldeyer

Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. ISBN 978-1-442-23830-5.
Reviewed by Diane Stanton
Posted on 12/07/2014

Anthologies/Collections; Nonfiction: Creative Life; Nonfiction: Elders

Writing after Retirement: Tips from Successful Retired Writers, edited by Carol Smallwood and Christine Redman-Waldeyer, is a collection of twenty-seven essays divided into four sections. Each essay or chapter offers advice and informative anecdotes for anyone interested in pursuing writing as a career or avocation.

Section I of the collection focuses on Arlene Mandell's anchor piece, "Building a New Life by Connecting to Community," which offers six steps toward building your post retirement career. These steps include getting involved in local activities, attending meetings, and joining organizations, and are sound advice for anyone interested in a writing career. Likewise, Stanley Klemetson's advice, in "Following Dreams Put On Hold," is to join a writers group, attend workshops, take continuing education classes, and engage in blogging.further sound writing advice, no matter what stage of your career.

This collection has something for every writer: retired, beginning, or seasoned. Many practical aspects of writing are addressed in Section II, including Robert Runte's "Estate Planning for Authors." Section III offers "Finding Your Niche." Here, Don Mulcahy discusses the work of compiling an anthology. Other sections discuss blogging, poetry, memoir, health, and heritage. The final section covers marketing and publishing.

The overall tone of the book is one of support and encouragement. Stephen Scottong in his essay "Some Writing Nuts and Bolts" asserts: "Writing, like wine, improves with age" and B. Lynn Goodwin in "My Niche My Way" asserts that a writer is "someone who writes and doesn't quit."

The most liberating lines were by Sarah W. Bartlett in her essay "It's Never too Late to Start Blogging." "Now that we're retired," she says, "we no longer need to follow any one else's schedule or goals. We have the complete freedom to pick and choose... Moreover, we've earned the right to say what we think and feel..."

As I read through the book, I frequently set it aside to pursue links to web sites, writing groups, books by other authors, and publishing opportunities. I took notes and bookmarked a great deal of new and pertinent recommendations. The structure of the book allows one to focus on specific areas of interests while exposing one to fresh considerations, such as making a will. I am sure I will pick it up again and again and use it as a reference (and perhaps read the section on estate planning a bit more closely.)

If you want to write and perhaps are retired, Writing After Retirement is a wise investment of your time and money.

Carol Smallwood's partial credits include: Women on Poetry: Writing Revising, Publishing and Teaching (2012) on the list of the Best Books for Writers by Poets and Writers; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching, and Publishing (2012); Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Picket Fences (2014). Her library experience includes school, public, academic, and special libraries, teaching, administration, and consulting.

Christine Redman-Waldeyer launched Adanna, a print journal for and about women, in January 2011. She is a poet and assistant professor of English at Passaic Community College in New Jersey. She has published three poetry collections: Frame by Frame, Gravel, and Eve Asks.

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