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Connecting Boomer Exercise And Writing



Talk writing with a boomer, with anyone, and you hear a common story.

“I’m going to write my novel (memoir, short story, or poem) when I retire.


“I’ve got it all figured out in my mind. Now all I need to do is find the time.”


“I’d like to write something, but all the good stories are taken.”

What are they really saying? If they know you’re a writer working on project after project, they’re telling you your work sucks. If they’ve never read a word you’ve written, then they’re telling you that you suck.

If you have time to write, you must be ignoring the more important parts of life. You must live in a fairy land disconnected from more pressing realities.

Do them a favor, baby boomer, and invite them to your place so they can see piles of dirty laundry, stacks of unwashed dishes dating back to 2013. Tell them to wear a mask because your house is dirtier than a hoarder collecting dust bunnies.

Explain how you find time to write by ignoring hygiene and cleanliness to the point of it becoming a health hazard.

“What’s that smell?” they ask.

You’re cat’s been missing for over a week, but you don’t say so.

After they leave, and don’t worry about them staying too long because they won’t, take a moment to reflect on what they’ve seen and how it affected them.

They either saw an artist deeply committed to their work, or a burned out husk circling the drain of lost dreams.

They either heard a communicator striving for a greater audience, or a delusional geezer pretending to make a difference.

What do they feel afterward? They feel like they’re better than you, and they probably are. Their retirement novel will surpass anything you squeeze out. The story structure in their mind is better than anything you learned throwing good money after bad on ‘writing classes’ and adult education.

Even if they don’t write anything because all the good stories are taken, even if they quit before they start, they’re better than you because they’re better at life.

Well, that’s the bad news.

The good news is they’ll probably die sooner than you in spite of the unhealthy environment surrounding you.

Why? Because they use the same excuses to avoid regular exercise that they use to avoid writing. It might sound different, but it means the same thing.

“I’ll get into a regular workout routine when I have time, like when I retire.”

“I’m in pretty good shape right now.”

“Why bother, I’ll never regain the body I used to have.”

Creative work and exercise both rewire the brain to our benefit. Don’t take boomerpdx’s word for it, though. Ask NPR what they think.

Don’t trust lefty propaganda? Ask the NY Times. They’ll tell you how inactivity changes the brain in an article titled ‘How Inactivity Changes The Brain.’ Pretty straight forward, don’t you think?

Ask the Washington Post what they think.

You may die physically from inactivity, so get up and show some life.

You will die mentally if you ignore the story you have, but won’t write down. It’ll eat away at you little by little until there’s nothing left.

And you don’t have to lift a finger.



About David Gillaspie


  1. Spot on, on both counts.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      So many scare tactics out there to get people to move, but most are missing one important message: It’s not that hard.

      Most of the time I work at a standing desk. When I sit down I find an easy excuse to stay seated. One more sentence, one more paragraph, one more page. Two hours later with sleeping feet. Yikes.

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