Here are two excerpts from an interview with Philip Roth.
Interviewer: Now that you’ve retired as a novelist, do you ever miss writing, or think about un-retiring?
Philip Roth: No, I don’t. That’s because the conditions that prompted me to stop writing fiction seven years ago haven’t changed. As I say in “Why Write?,” by 2010 I had “a strong suspicion that I’d done my best work and anything more would be inferior. I was by this time no longer in possession of the mental vitality or the verbal energy or the physical fitness needed to mount and sustain a large creative attack of any duration on a complex structure as demanding as a novel.... Every talent has its terms — its nature, its scope, its force; also its term, a tenure, a life span.... Not everyone can be fruitful forever.
Interviewer: Before you were retired, you were famous for putting in long, long days. Now that you’ve stopped writing, what do you do with all that free time?
Philip Roth: I read — strangely or not so strangely, very little fiction. I spent my whole working life reading fiction, teaching fiction, studying fiction and writing fiction. I thought of little else until about seven years ago. Since then I’ve spent a good part of each day reading history, mainly American history but also modern European history. Reading has taken the place of writing, and constitutes the major part, the stimulus, of my thinking life.
Read the whole article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/books/review/philip-roth-interview.html