28 Creative Things to Do in Retirement

Looking for something to do in retirement? Here is another post in the series on “Great things to do in retirement”. This time we look at how to  use your time creatively. These are suggestion from me. If you have better suggestions (or any suggestions really) just add a comment and I’ll see if we can improve this post over time and give other blokes ideas for filling their lives with useful things to do.

Take lessons in drawing / painting. You can get these at a TAFE or YouTube. You probably need  to start by getting your brush technique right so have a look at this video. Then get some paint, paper and a brush and see if you can do what she does. I don’t believe you have to paint your hands but it seems to work for her.
Learn ceramics or pottery. You can see how to do things on YouTube. I looked for a Moocs course and came up with courses on Archaeology so probably not exactly what you need! You will need a potters wheel and some clay so probably best to start with your local pottery group. If you Google “Pottery groups near me”, you will probably find all the local supply shops and classes held around you but if you scroll down a bit you will find the visual arts groups in your area. Give them a call and see what’s on offer.
Learn sculpture. If you want to sculpt an elephant, find a big rock and chip away all the bits that don’t look like an elephant! YouTube has videos on the tools you need and how to begin using clay modelling. Search for Sculpture for beginners in YouTube.
Learn photography. Lots of helpful advice here on retiredblokes.com and any number of other websites. If you need something else just drop us a line and we’ll try to help you.
Take a photo every day and post it on Facebook. Just don’t post pictures of your breakfast!
Edit photographs with Photoshop express or something. Photoshop Express is cheap (about $100) but there are many other programs you can use. Get one and stick with it until you get good at it! The built in photo editor in a Mac photos program is surprisingly powerful and does some editing well. If you need to know how to link it with Photoshop you will need to send me a question. It is actually possible though a bit clunky! Some other photo editing programs (like Luminar and Affinity) insert a link into Apple photos automatically which you can access after entering the Edit mode and selecting the circle with three dots from the top of the screen.
Scan your old slides. Buy a $100 slide scanner and transfer your slides to your computer. I have been doing this for years! There are cheaper ones but for $100 you can get a reasonable scanner with the ability to gather as many pixels as the original slide has.  Make sure you name each picture and put an approximate date on them. On a Mac, after you put the image into Photos, click on the picture you want to change, then select Image > Adjust Date and Time from the menu. Then put in the correct date and time and select Adjust. You may need to set the time zone if it isn’t taken in your local time zone.
Publish artwork / photographs online. There’s lots of photo competition websites. Just Google “photo competitions”. You never know you might win something!
Learn a musical instrument. Lots of lessons on YouTube. Some guitar courses on Moocs sites (Online courses). You can start your search for local courses here.
Join a band (and really learn an instrument.)
Take singing lessons and learn new songs. Best done with a teacher who can hear you! Then go to church each week so you can practice singing with others.
Write your own songs. I have no idea how to start this one. It’s always something I admire and may get around to one day!
Paint your own wall art (on your own walls!)
Study interior design – lots of courses available and YouTube videos.
Write a book, write a blog (and send it to us to publish), or write a play / poetry anything really!
Knit – well I’ve heard that some men do knit!
Design and make wooden toys. You may get some help or ideas at the local Men’s shed though I’m sure you can find some designs online. If you want to do something more than toys look up Wood Intarsia or try this video.
Write a recipe book for desserts (you have to try each one)
Tidy up your shed. Make a workbench, label and paint a pegboard for your tools. I’ve always wanted to do this so if you have finished your first you could do another one for me!
Write a memoir.
Record memories and anecdotes from elders in the community. This can be a great thing for their families too. You can visit any aged care place and begin there! They says that 40% of people in age care never have any visitors so you can do them a world of good too.
Host a podcast with the anecdotes or anything else you fancy.
Cultivate bonsai trees. Again YouTube is a place to start. Have a look here.
Create / improve your garden or your neighbours
Write, produce and direct your own TV program
Learn to use iMovie to edit the home movies you have stored for years (transfers from super 8 to computer formats available on eBay)
Start a YouTube channel based on your interests (using the videos you have just made.)
Get into woodworking / carpentry. A great place to start is the mens shed.
Try wood carving / turning. Everyone needs a few wooden bowls.

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