This piece was originally drafted as a Press Release to celebrate the fact that Bertie is approaching an entire year of writing every day using Daily Prompt. We’ve republished it below to use on our blog.
There are over 12 million people in the UK who are over 65 years old, which means almost 20% of the population are retired (or approaching retirement). With lockdowns curbing many retirement activities over the past year, retirees are exploring their creative passions instead via a mobile-only writing app, Daily Prompt.
Steve Dalzell, 66 from East Anglia, has written close to 100,000 words over the past twelve months. He said:
When you retire it’s a challenge to find the best creative outlet for the time you suddenly have available. I tried a few different hobbies and activities but I found that it’s writing in Daily Prompt that stuck for me. After many long years working for the government, I retired to do what I should have done in the first place: write every day.”
Steve uses Daily Prompt, a creative writing app, to help inspire and keep track of his new writing habit. He has written every day for almost an entire year, writing a staggering 362 days in a row (and counting), and holds the longest writing streak of anyone in the app. Since the start of the pandemic, Daily Prompt has increased its membership by 500% with writers of all kinds taking to the iOS writing app to get in their daily word count.
When asked if he has any writing goals in mind, Steve said:
Everybody thinks they have a novel in them, and I probably do somewhere. I’ve not practised enough yet to make that a reality. In my experience, it takes about 10 years to get good at something and Daily Prompt is where I practice.”
Instead of coming up with an idea from scratch each morning, Steve checks the app for a new prompt for his creative writing. This could be an image, a line of speech, or some other parameters, which give him a clear place to start his daily writing.
Across the pond, Tedi Zimmermann, 76 from Atlanta, U.S.A, has had a similar experience. Tedi is a retired professional singer and vocal instructor and was taking writing classes at the local Osher Lifelong Learning Institute before the pandemic started. When the lockdown began and her classes were forced to stop, Tedi discovered Daily Prompt as a way to keep writing during the pandemic.
Of the tens of thousands of writers currently using Daily Prompt, Tedi has written more than anyone else with an astonishing 150,000 words. When asked what motivates her to write, she said:
It’s great fun to open the app every morning, read the prompt, then let my brain go where it wants to go. Many times my brain surprises me when it travels into a strange and new place!
When asked about what advice she’d give to other people looking to use retirement to reconnect with their creative passions, Tedi said:
If you want to improve and stay creative you have to actually practice. I was a singer, a vocal teacher and a piano teacher for many years and preached the necessity of practising one’s craft every single day.”
Ryan Lindsey, founder of Daily Prompt, said:
We noticed that there are loads of people with an ambition to write, but lack of time, self-confidence, and inspiration usually gets in the way. Daily Prompt addresses this by making it as easy as possible to write creatively every single day.”
With the International Day of Older Persons celebrated on 1st October, this celebration of the fantastic achievements of Steve and Tedi feels even more appropriate. Keep up the incredible writing, both of you!