Write. Whatever it takes to write, do it. Turn off the television set. Get up early. Go to a coffee shop. Don’t go to a coffee shop. Set aside the time. Take the time. Steal the time. Write.
In a yoga class this week, I had a flush of “retirement guilt” as I listened to young moms talk about how hard it is to create space in their lives to come to a yoga class. During my first year of retirement, I have been blessed with lots of free time and choices. So, I felt a bit defensive about my abundance of free time. Then I remembered that I worked my butt off for 45 years at “real jobs” and made time to be a husband, a parent, a good employee, a friend, a sports fan and a writer. J. K. Rowling did way better than I did.
Whatever the subject, write. You can delete it or throw it away later. I wrote an entire book that turned out to be pretty awful. Now I know how not to write about that subject.
Write, even if it’s bad. You will have second and third and twentieth draft opportunities. It won’t be perfect on the first draft or the fifth draft. You can research later. You can get opinions from proofreaders and copy-editors later. Just write.
I would like to be a better writer, but people who don’t write aren’t even bad writers. They are simply not writers.
I would like to be a more consistent writer, but I’d rather be an erratic author than a wisher or an if-onlier or a wannabe.
I would like to be a smarter or more clever pundit, but I don’t think the Nobel or Pulitzer prizes are in my future. I would simply like to get some ideas out there for conversation and to receive an occasional check in the mail.
So, I write.
- Marion D. Aldridge was born in Savannah, GA and raised in North Augusta, SC.
- Marion graduated from Clemson University and received Master and Doctoral degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
- Marion pastored for over 25 years at First Baptist in Batesburg, SC, and Greenlawn Baptist in Columbia, SC.
- He served as Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of SC for 14 years before his retirement in 2013.
- Marion is now active in the Interfaith community and presents workshops on many subjects around the United States.
- Marion has written several books, the most recent Overcoming Adolescence, a book for grown-ups who are stuck at some point in their past. He has also written hundreds of articles for South Carolina Wildlife magazine, Tennis Magazine, Church Administration and others.
- He is married to Sally Craig Aldridge, a retired schoolteacher. They have two adult daughters, Jenna Barrett and Julie Aldridge.
- Marion especially enjoys fishing and baseball games with his grandson, Lake.