To my great surprise I’ve discovered I am old. I mean, I knew this, but mostly in the creaky old knees and getting slower way. Not that I’d stop doing what I am doing, and receive a pension. And not just because this writing I do doesn’t pay. It just doesn’t feel like the sort of work one would give up, at least on age grounds.
I even have a pension. Received the first payment yesterday. It’s for work I did before 1982, and I didn’t work for all that many years, and certainly not for an unbroken period. But it seems it was enough to pay for the odd ice cream, if and when I make it across the North Sea again.
As coincidence would have it, I just read an article in The Author about authors’ pensions. They’re mostly not great, if they exist at all. I knew authors’ pay is generally lower than any of us think, or would want it to be. But this pensions thing is dire. At this rate many authors will not be thinking about ice cream. Definitely not about crossing any North Seas.
In some ways authors have it easier. ‘Just’ needing to write means they can carry on the same into their nineties. While others perhaps have to give up due to typing becoming hard in cases of arthritis, as the example in the article showed.
It’s the same for unpaid witches; there is freedom to continue, or to stop right now. The odd thing is I never thought I’d do that for age reasons. You know me, I moan and complain about other things, but not once did I consider ageing into the wrong half of one’s sixties to be a reason for hanging up the laptop.
I’m still 29 inside, just as I was when I was 40, or 50.