If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door


October Guest Bloggers


10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean


WWK Weekend Bloggers


10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson













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For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!


KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!


Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!


Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.


KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.


Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

When Does A Writer Stop Writing?


As I approach a very big birthday—a birthday well past the usual age of retirement—I ask myself: when will I stop writing? All of my non-writer friends are now retired. Some of them babysit young grandchildren. Most of them play canasta or Mahjongg. Regardless of their activities, their working days are over. Mine sure aren't. I find that I'm busier than ever writing mysteries, promoting my books, writing blogs, and going to conferences. My writer friends are doing pretty much the same. Which makes me wonder—when does a writer stop writing?

Like me, many of my writer friends pursued other careers in their earlier years. Some were teachers, librarians, journalists, lawyers. The list goes on. Perhaps it's because we started our career as fiction writers later in life that we continue into our sixties, seventies, and eighties. Writing books, fulfilling contracts, doing readings—whatever the job requires.

These past ten years I appreciated having had books to write and writing-related chores to carry out to keep me on track. Writing fills my days as it gives my days structure. I found this especially valuable when my husband was very ill then died; when I was in treatment for Stage Four Lymphoma. I had an obligation to finish a book. Though I'm currently under contract, I'm pretty sure I'd continue to write more books even if I weren't. I would return to series that I had to abandon in order to work on other books. Spending time each day writing at my computer has become a way of life.

Sometimes I wish I had more free time—to lunch more frequently with friends and not have to work into the evening. I suppose the day will come when I'll realize I can no longer fulfill my writing obligations, and I'll stop doing what's been my life these past thirty-some-odd years. Then I'll write my last chapter, bid good-bye to my readers, and spend my days reading and socializing—or whatever retired people do. But until then I'll continue to write for as long as I can.

12 comments:

Kait said...

Happy birthday, Marilyn. Frankly, I'm glad you are not ready to quit. I've long considered you an inspiration.

So writers say they write because it is a job, other's because they need to emotionally. Sounds like you write because you love it. The best reason of all.

Jim Jackson said...

Sometimes I wonder if writing is best categorized as an addiction (I can't NOT write). Maybe for we oldsters it's a way to stay sharp and relevant.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

All of the above. Good points, Marilyn.

Susan said...

I agree with you, Jim Jackson. I remember better when I’m writing.

Grace Topping said...

I sometimes wonder about the same thing. I'm retired, but with writing and promotional activities, I feel as though I've taken on a full-time job with mandatory overtime. We'll see how long I'll last.

carla said...

Writing is who we are. Not what we do.

Marilyn Levinson said...

I think writing keeps our minds active. After all, plotting is problem solving. We're forced to use those "brain muscles."
Jim, I also think that writing is our way of life. And why is it that so many of the writers I know are—ahem, on the older side of fifty?

KM Rockwood said...

I'm with you, Marilyn. Writing is as important as breathing--as long as one can do it, one does.

Kaye George said...

Writing was my lifeboat during my husband's illness and death also. And now, I honestly have no idea what I would be doing, if not writing. I tried to take up my violin again, but my hands are not shaped right after my arthritis surgery (and the arthritis, too!), so I don't see myself doing quartet or orchestra work any more. I'd love to garden more, but the body doesn't want to do much of that either. Thank goodness for the ability to type out novels and short stories! Long may we all write!

judyalter said...

I'm going to sound like an echo to Marilyn and all the comments, but I too have wondered about "retirement." Writing is not something you can just quit, and I can't imagine myself not writing. As one of you said, it's now what I do--it's who I am. I used to fear retiring from my day job and waking up each morning wondering how on earth I was going to fill the day. With writing it's never a problem. I'll write until I can't. Mahjong sound so boring!

authorlindathorne said...

Great post and I enjoyed the comments. I'll soon be 73 and driving an hour each way to a full-time job in downtown Nashville. To me, being able to stay home and write books would be retirement. Like many of you, I can't imagine retiring from writing and I'm not even a good example since I've only published one book (several short stories). I am spending as much time as possible finishing up on my 2nd book in a series that I started in 2015.

Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum said...

I love your books so I'm happy to read that you're going to write for a long, long time.

As tempting as it sometimes is to "be retired," like you, I'm grateful to have my writing. It's always been my passion and I'd be lost without it. (Even though some days I want to throw my computer out the window. LOL)

Happy birthday!