Returning to a Favorite Pastime

ink_flower_by_denadavis[1]Creative people fascinate me, and they have long before I became a writer. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned (aside from the fact that most of us have sleep issues) is how frequently writers delve into other art forms to express themselves, especially through painting. I’ve met several terrific artists who also write fiction and nonfiction. Multi-faceted creative folks isn’t a surprise, though. If you allow yourself to open your mind to possibilities and take the time to explore, it’s amazing what will come.

This weekend, while working out at the gym, I started thinking about writing and painting. I also thought about how I would spend more of my free time once I retire from the day job in a few months. Sure, I might write a little more, but given that long periods at a keyboard aren’t healthy (after four decades of typing my posture’s not great and eye strain’s a problem) I’ve decided that extra physical fitness is a good idea, and one that I happen to welcome.

But another idea has come to mind, and it’s based on something that very few people know about me. A little over three decades ago, when I was working on my first novel and pregnant with my first child, I was working on pen-and-ink drawings. (The drawing above isn’t mine, but I think it’s beautiful).

I don’t remember how many pictures I drew, but I still have my sketch book buried beneath stacks of paper in my office closet. I used to draw graveyards and stark, leafless trees, which I suppose isn’t a psychological stretch from the mystery thrillers that I write today. But you know, I’m now thinking about pulling out that sketch at some point to explore the possibility of going back to drawing.

Several months ago my hubby the accountant returned (after a long absence) to painting watercolor landscapes. He too, has trouble staying asleep, so each morning he awakes very early, goes downstairs, and experiments with color and design and ideas before he leaves for work. He loves it. It feels like it sets a positive tone to his day. It’s also given him a new appreciation for the nearly forty years I’ve devoted to my passion for writing. We talked about goals and satisfaction and pushing through tough times until perseverance slowly turns to habit.

I’m not worried about not finding enough to do when I retire. I worry more about having time to do everything I want to. There will be more goals—brand new ones—and although I’m not ready to remove the sketch book out from under all that paper today, it’s now on my radar. We’ll see what happens.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

17 thoughts on “Returning to a Favorite Pastime”

  1. I had to learn after i retired to not judge my day by how productive i was. I am learning to savor the day, relax, read, and even take a nap.
    I think the real point of retirement is to choose how you use your time, and be cautious of others who want to “give you something to do”.

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  2. Any creative outlet is so good for you. Retirement can be tough, especially if you are used to the routine of working. Other people seem to want to control your time. I hope you do return to sketching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly. It will be a new feeling and possibly a new approach to tackling writing in general. Can’t wait to experiment with what will fee like a new life, or certainly a new routine. I need to spend more time socializing and making time for coffee with people, and attending events.

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  3. I write also and I enjoy painting, crafting – DIY stuff. There is something about using my hands – getting them dirty, colors, ideas etc. So yes to getting the inks out and also exploring whatever comes up! Looking forward to hearing about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a wonderful way to start the day. My husband can’t wait to retire because he’s golf mad! He only goes once a week at the moment, and that one game on a Sunday morning sets him up for the week ahead. It’s his time to relax. For him it’s more about the fresh air and beautiful scenery on the golf courses. (He’s like to win sometimes too) I have my writing. 🤗

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