May 8, 2018

AMY ALKON:

There’s this quote — and people always nod solemnly in (unthinking) agreement when somebody tosses it out: “No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.'”

(There are various versions of this, yes, attributed to various people.)

Now, maybe this is the reality for some people, but it isn’t the reality for me — or for some of the driven professors and writers I know.

I try to spend as much time every day on digging up science and writing (and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting) as possible.

There’s long been this notion — probably since Social Security came to be — that people would cut out of the work force; retire.

Well, if I’m working on an oil rig, yeah, at some point, I age out of the profession. (Not that I’d ever be in that area of work, but just as a wild example.)

But writing? As long as I keep those Alzheimer’s cobwebs out of my brain — or as long as I don’t get some horrible, writing-stopping disease — why should I stop? Presumably, I’ll get wiser with age. At least, that’s what I’ve found so far. So, presumably, my writing and thinking will have more value, as long as I can stay current.

I agree.

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