November 07, 2013

Am I Still a Writer? – Ramona Heikel

At the end of this past summer I was offered a job at a high school which was just what I was looking for, but I wasn’t sure I was qualified. I took it anyway, and since then I’ve been making plenty of adjustments: working full-time instead of part-time, driving to the other end of the city instead of a short commute, and taxing my brain all day so it refuses to operate after I leave the school. As a result, I have suddenly stopped writing!

And boy does that feel strange. It’s like I’ve been kidnapped to another planet.

I haven’t posted on my own blog since September, and forgot last month to post here. I haven’t even thought about all my unfinished writing projects. I feel guilty about all of those things, but at the same time, I know that I am incapable of doing anything else at the moment. It is what it is.

But today I am writing something original for the first time in months. And I can safely say that yes, I still have stories in my head and things I want to say, and I am still a writer. And something good in all this from a writerly point of view is that I am cleaning house. No, not my real house; my visually organized yet actually out-of-control To Do pile of writing activities. Priorities are being defined (and not necessarily by me).

For example, some of my half-finished stories grew out of my trying to squeeze water from a rock, or from someone else’s idea of what would make a good story—and no wonder I can’t seem to get them off the ground. By contrast, one of my favorite pieces that I “haven’t had time for” has just caught the eye of my best friend who is an artist, and she wants to illustrate it.

I recently received a cheque for a reprinted story from one of my favorite children’s magazines; on the other hand, I just packaged up a load other children’s magazines and some marketing books to donate to the thrift store. As I no longer have the luxury of agonizing about finding the perfect places to sell my writing, or trying to learn more and more about writing, I’ve also cleared those off from my dusty mental desk for the time being. There went a lot of frustration out the door!

It’s a good time to redefine the purpose of my blog, or to decide whether or not I should have one. Yes, I’ve made the choice to dedicate myself to the students at school, and I can’t do everything, so I won’t be feeling as much like a writer as I used to. However, during the large chunks of time of school holidays, like the one coming up next week, I’ll enjoy returning to my keyboard as I would a dear friend, to catch up on my favorite pastime.

Posted by Ramona


  1. Hi Ramona:
    There is a season for everything.
    A writer does not cease to exist because they don't write, just as the sun still exists on a cloudy day!
    Laying one gift aside for a while to fulfill a call to use another can only intensify both.
    Rest in God's timing.

  2. I have been in the same situation many times in my life, but the writer part of me still hangs around just waiting for me to pay attention again. I pray all goes well for you as you settle into your new work.

  3. I'm in that position now. I haven't posted anything on my personal blog for some time.Have even let Brenda know that I won't be able to contribute any posting for the next year.
    The writer within us goes for a long slumber at times, but it's still alive. So, don't worry about not writing at this period of time.

  4. Reasons and seasons. Perhaps it is a season for dormancy and rest for your writer self. Perhaps it's a time for gathering new fodder for writings down the road. Perhaps what you learn in this job will give skills or direction or lessons learned for the next leg of the journey.

    A tree is still a tree even when it is not bearing fruit or sprouting leaves, even when it stands barren on a wintry day.

    Ramona, I'm so glad you shared this this part of your journey with us. May it encourage those who find themselves in a similar place.

    Wishing you peace and grace for the season you are in. And as you say in your last sentence, may you anticipate the time when your writer will enjoy the reunion with her keyboard as she would a friend.

  5. Oh, you're all so wonderful in your helpful and encouraging comments! I'm glad to know this is not as unusual or as tragic as it seems. Thank you all!


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