It seems as if it happens at least once at every writers conference I attend. Someone will say, “Once I retire, I’ll be able to write.”
I get it. It’s hard to find the time to write—and build or expand a platform of speaking or podcasting or blogging and more—while you have an actual job for which you’re supposedly being paid.
But I can’t say this strongly enough: Don’t wait for retirement to write and market your masterpiece for publication.
There’s a very good chance that, post-retirement, many of the platform pieces you have currently will evaporate. Say you’re a pastor of a fair-sized congregation in a fair-sized denomination; that influence and those contacts will probably diminish in retirement. Or, say you’re a kinda-high-ranking military officer of kinda-wide-influence in a kinda-large branch of a kinda-big nation’s armed services. Once you’re retired, you’re a very honorable but kinda-less-connected veteran.
See what I mean? Sure, sure, you’ll be a member of this fraternity or that organization; and you’ll have much more time to devote to such pursuits. But when your “active” status changes, so will much of your reach.
So, while it’s hard to carve out the time to do all the writer stuff (such as learning to eschew such terms as “writer stuff”) while you still have a demanding position and many responsibilities, it may be that your writing will become less marketable post-retirement. I wish it were not so, but it is what it is. (And, really, what else could it be?)
At least be open to the likelihood that your time is now, not later. Part of a writer’s job these days is to curate his or her current and future influence and reach (i.e., platform) in a way that attracts publishers and readers. For many, that will mean not waiting for retirement (or other “better time”), but “redeeming the [present] time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16, KJV).