Planning A Creative Life In Retirement
There are few things in life that are as much fun as creating things and I’m planning to do a lot of creating in retirement. This post provides a rough outline of some of my ideas and I plan to add to and refine it as the big day gets closer. In my ~30 years in the IT industry I’ve spent a lot of time creating and I’ve learned that I get the most buzz from creative activities that have three key characteristics, 1) they are useful to more than just me 2) they make the world a better place and 3) individual contributions build into something to be proud of. There’s one final attribute that has become more important recently, they don’t have a specific customer, i.e. I am my own boss, accountable to no one, working at my own pace, on activities that I choose. This blog is my first attempt at a creative activity that fits these criteria. I also love working on creative activities with others, but that gets a little more difficult to orchestrate in retirement, but I will be on the lookout for clubs.
The list that follows provides only a sample of my ‘best’ ideas. I’m not looking to make money from them, but if they provide a few pounds a day that would be welcome:
- I’d love to get into programming again and whilst the web sites I’ve listed below provide some opportunities I think I need to develop at least one app, maybe an app to complement one or more of the web sites, maybe just an app that I would fine useful for myself. One of the ideas that I’m considering is a habit tracking app, of which there are a few examples currently, none of which can’t be bettered.
- I’m planning to continue to write this ‘stream of consciousness’ blog. Although the content is fairly random I like the fact that I can write about anything
- I’m thinking of creating at least one website for the place[s] that I live. A site that shows the beauty and fun to be enjoyed on the Fylde Coast. The emphasis of these sites would be the kind of places and activities that I like to do and would be focussed on being useful to residents and visitors. I would not go for comprehensive, rather beauty, ease of use and usefulness, something a bit like this, but nicer looking http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/
- I like the idea of a curated ‘best of’ web site, I wouldn’t constrain myself to reviewing things, for example I might include best life changing ideas, most likely to succeed, best bang for the buck or time invested. The site would be focussed on things that I’m interested in and would probably provide top 10 lists in perhaps 10 to 20 categories. For inspiration I’m thinking of something like http://thewirecutter.com/ or maybe something more personal like http://grahamfarmelo.com/favourite-things-archive/ or something a bit fancy like http://www.slideshare.net/ryanholiday/24-books-youve-never-heard-of-but-will-change-your-life
- I also like the idea of creating some really comprehensive guides to favourite walks and cycle rides. I know there are hundreds of examples out there, but I would be going for quality rather than quantity and also providing multiple formats to suit planning and doing. An example of what I’m considering is this great site for the Leeds to Liverpool canal http://www.leedsliverpoolcanal.co.uk/ but I would be going for more beauty
- Finally I’m thinking of maintaining some wiki like web sites on topics that fascinate me, an example of this might be the quantified self, or living well.
- I do have a few book ideas as well, but the amount of effort for little reward makes these a lower priority
- Finally I think I will put more attention into writing top quality reviews of the books that I really like, in the style of executive summaries, but with better links to supporting information and more diagrams. I did one of these about 8 years ago and it was very popular, Dan Pink even linked to it from the books web site.
- I own the domain name getstartedquick.com which I’ve not used so far. I think it would be a great domain for short guides on things that I’m interested in and have learnt about. The web site philosophersnotes is a great inspiration for this idea
Next up are the physical creative activities, which will be focussed on pure relaxation:
- High intensity gardening, growing flowers that can be cut for the house and growing food for my smoothies
- Sketching and painting that I can do to complement my travels
A pre-requisite for some of these ideas is to learn some new skills or update old ones, I’ve covered these in my post on learning in retirement.
The photo today is of Cleveleys beach where we are all going tonight to have a sunset feast. Photography will definitely be one of the creative outlets that will complement many of the ideas in this post.