Tag Archives: writing

Transitioning to Retirement

I haven’t done much on this blog lately. I’ve been busy writing. I have finally finished all the books I had started. Twelve novels is enough, I think, to determine whether I can get them commercially published.
I can’t. I’m an artist and a writer. I do my best work in a room on my own. I am awkward in any social situation and thus totally unsuccessful as a salesman. Unfortunately for those of us who love literature, we seem to live in a world where the most successful books are written by the best salesmen, and quality authors often cannot get published. This is even more so for self-publishers, but I have no choice. I have exhausted all other options, so I have to self-publish. That is my project for 2018.
Although I already have four books online it is unlikely that I will get the other eight up in one year. I am, after all, transitioning to retirement, and I have no wish to make a rod for my own back. I’m sixty years old now. I was always told that I could retire at sixty. Now I have to keep trying to find work until I’m sixty-seven, despite the fact that I’ve been no more successful at selling myself to employers than to publishers.
You might think that going from unemployed to retired would not require much of a transition. It might not, if I hadn’t been working all along. I have been working. I have written twelve novels and held regular exhibitions of my paintings. All with the intention that one day I could make a living out of it. And retirement should not imply total idleness either. Retirement should be an opportunity to do the things that you always wanted to, but couldn’t justify against the need to make money.
For me retirement will still involve writing. I have an idea for a family history. They are notoriously hard to sell, but that shouldn’t matter once I am retired. I will also continue to paint occasionally, but with less of an eye to what the public wants. Retirement will not involve deadlines or regular hours of work. I need some spare time to devote to gardening and to fishing and possibly to picnics. I can’t remember even half a dozen picnics in the past thirty years, and nothing that might be called a holiday. I think I am ready to retire. I feel that I have earned it.


Visionary PUNQ

Graeme Buckley self portrait

Graeme Buckley self portrait

It seems that I am about to become a PUNQ.
That crazy title will probably be more attractive to the young ones than an old guy like me. I am past the age where rebellion can be seen as a fashion statement.

So, what is a PUNQ? It stands for Pop Up North Queensland, and is being run by Umbrella Studio. It means that about forty artists or groups can have a shop space in the city for ten days at the end of July.

Lynn and I have been lucky enough to snag one, so we will have a taste of what it is like to run a gallery. A lot of artists harbour fantasies about having their own little gallery. I know I do. Exercises like this can be a good way to get a dose of reality without any great financial risk. Why would anyone think that an undercapitalised small business could possibly survive? And why do creative visionaries imagine that a can of cheap white paint can turn a daggy old building into an art gallery? And yet we dream. Artists are always dreamers.

We dream of bringing all our old pictures into our shop, and possibly even selling some. We dream of holding drop in art classes. We dream of doing demonstration paintings in our gallery and selling them off the easel. We dream of a stream of interested visitors who will come in to our shop and get involved in discussions of art and life and the nature of beauty.

We dream that you will share our dream at 21 Stokes Street (opp the Old Court House) from 28 July to August 8.