Looking toward a Seamless Transition to Retirement
by Beryl Belsky
(Tel Aviv, Israel)
I don’t have to retire now. I can continue in my present job as a publications editor in an academic institution for a few more years. But I will probably retire within the next 15 months or so, mainly because I desperately need a change. A change could also be a new job, and if I could get a suitable one on a part-time basis I’d take it. But I might not, and so I’m making preparations for my retirement.
I’m fortunate to be an editor. I don’t have to be employed to use this skill; I can always freelance. And I’ll probably do that. But I also wanted to take my editing a step further and do something more creative with it. So, a few months ago I launched a site, called The Writer’s Drawer(http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/index.html).
Since I knew, and still know, next to nothing about the workings of the internet, developing the site has been a learning process. At first, my objectives were a little fuzzy. I was basically calling for any sort of “drawer writer” to submit their work to my site, and if it required editing, I would do it discreetly. However, it became clear that I needed to narrow my sights and to target a more specific audience.
It occurred to me that retirees would be an ideal writer- and readership. Some might have been writing sporadically pre-retirement and would like to develop this hobby (or passion). Others might want to begin now that they have the time.
They might try creative writing – short stories, poetry, essays − or seek to record their memoirs or their travels. I could help them with the editing process (free) and offer a platform for them to display their work. Moreover, I try to keep the site very conservative and simple, so that it’s easy to navigate and read.
At some stage I came across retirement-oneline.com, and I must have left a Facebook comment, because it was seen by one of your bloggers, Irwin Lengel (http://www.retirement-online.com/irwin-lengel.html). Irwin sent me some material which I worked on a bit – a short story (http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/the-day-his-hair-turned-white.html), a poem (http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/what-is-a-wife.html), and an essay (http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/retirement-and-line-dancing.html) − and then posted. The result is we’re both happy.
Hopefully, more retirees like Irwin will come forward. I enjoy working on the material and try to present it aesthetically, with photos and illustrations. If I can continue with the site postretirement, with a wide circle of writers who contribute material and comment on others’ work, I think I will have succeeded in making a relatively seamless transition to retirement.