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Writing in Retirement

Writing in Retirement

By John L. Campbell

Cera, Inc., 2006

150-pages, $15.95



Review by Patricia L. Fry

John Campbell, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, spent most of his adult life in marketing and sales. In retirement he writes, and has discovered there are numbers of other retirees who are writing as a creative outlet or a serious career. This book features fifteen retired men and women who have discovered writing as a way to survive financially or who write purely for pleasure.

For example, Kathleen Hayes Phillips shares her life and loves through poetry. Bill Nelson considers himself a recreational writer in his retirement and says, "I’m having a ball." Chester Klingensmith has been interested in writing for most of his adult life, so it was natural for him to begin writing in earnest once he retired.

These authors’ stories are intermingled with chapters designed to teach and inform. Campbell’s chapter titles include, "What Are You Doing in Retirement?," "You Can Learn to Write," "Now You Have the Time," "Tools of the Trade," "Poetry Improves Writing Skills," "Writers Groups," "Writing a Family History," "Writing a Memoir" and "Writing for Income." He also offers a chapter on self-publishing and Print on Demand.

Campbell says he wrote this book because these are things he wished he had known when he started writing. There’s a lot to be said for retiring into a writing hobby or profession. According to Campbell, "I enjoy having a project to keep me busy. Writing keeps me off the streets, costs less than golf or gambling and there’s always the possibility that someone like you might pay to read what’s taken me over ten years to learn."

My only complaint about this book is that Campbell, like so many writers from the old school, still uses two spaces after a period and lets the em-dash dangle between the two words rather than connecting them. Folks, it is now one space after a period, colon, question mark and other punctuation. And the em-dash consists of one long dash that connects the two words.

If you’re retired or contemplating retirement and you’d like to compare notes with other retired writers, pick up this book.

–Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 25 books. Read her latest book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, Visit her writing/publishing blog often at



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