The major reason is because you know more now. You’ve lived a long time, read a lot, discussed and argued your beliefs and opinions, which have grown and changed over the years. Mine certainly have. I am probably more tolerant now. Many topics, on which I used to have very fixed opinions, I‘m now less sure about. Have your sentiments and attitudes changed since you were a 20 year old? They haven’t—then don’t write—just play more golf.
Writing makes it easier to share your current thoughts with others. When I write what I feel, the writing process clarifies my point of view and gives me confidence to share it with others. If it’s not clear enough I change it again and again—as I am doing now with this article.
Knowing that someone, other than your sympathetic wife or caring family, has honestly enjoyed your writing is the greatest reward for all writers. Praise from outside the family does not come often. Well not for me. Ideally it comes from a complete stranger who knows you only through your writing. They have read you article or your book and have taken some trouble to contact you perhaps by email. This is the sweetest praise of all and I think to myself—fantastic, I must write more.
Seeing your words in a publication is also very rewarding. This doesn’t have to be in a book. In a book is great, but you might write on a website like this or in a letter to a newspaper or in an article for a magazine perhaps. If someone has appreciated your writing so much, that they have published it, this is very satisfying.
Knowing that the more you produce the better writer you become is a very good reason to keep at it. Your writing always improves. I have gone from the worst essay writer in school to a distinctly improved writer today, in only 60 years. And I’m still working on it.
And lastly, you always have a project on the go. You are always in what I believe, is the enviable position, of not having enough time to write all the things you want to write about. You’re never left wondering what should I do now? It’s always—what should I choose for my next project?
Write in your retirement.