Monday, November 23, 2015

Are you still a writer when you don't write?

A Post By Jonathan 

"A writer who doesn't write is like a monster courting insanity" - Franz Kafka.

Okay, time for some major self-disclosure. I am not a writer. At least not lately.

I haven't written a word (except for my blog posts here at Across The Board) for nearly a year. This probably isn't something you'd expect to hear on a writing blog --and I hope it doesn't get me kicked out of the club!-- but it's the truth. I'm not proud of this fact. Sure, I may have some excuses: a new born baby who never seems to get healthy, a full-time job that wears me out. But if I were really a writer wouldn't I be compelled to write? Wouldn't I make the time?

These are the thoughts that plague me on a daily basis, especially during November. I imagine NaNoWriMo is pretty damn hard for those competing, but I think it's also hard for those writers who want to participate, but would find it nearly impossible to find the time to write 2,000 words a day during a single month. I'd be lucky to write 2,000 words in a month right now. There was a time when I would write 1,000 words a day come hell or high water, but in my current season of life all I can do is dream about getting some of that discipline, that energy, that passion back.

I'm guessing, or at least I really hope, that I am not the only person who has taken an unplanned hiatus from writing. So what do people like me do during these times? Can I still call myself a writer when there are thousands of people out there killing it on a daily basis? Part of me doesn't feel right doing so, but another part of me knows that I have been there too. I have been the one burning the midnight oil. I have been the writer.

So are you still a writer when you don't write? I guess I am the only one who can answer that question. And I guess it really depends on whether I can get back to it or end up giving up completely (which I won't!). Thanks for listening!

P.S. I'm secretly hoping that NaNoWriMo keeps most of you so busy that you don't get around to reading this...    



  1. Yes, you are a writer even if you're not currently writing. Also, you wrote a manuscript. You finished what the majority of wannabe writers never accomplish. It's tough when you have a baby. Give yourself permission to slack off. No one ever said, "I regret not focusing on my writing when I had a baby." Most people regret not focusing on the baby.

  2. IMHO, this post proves you haven't lost your mojo. It was honest and heartfelt and cuts to a problem that all of us (yes, all of us) feel from time to time. There's writer's block and then there's having a life. You need to have your life. The blank page will always be there. Babies don't keep.

  3. That old Queen song, "Under Pressure", came to mind as soon as I read your post. (And sorry, sort of, if now you have it stuck in your head like I do.) I agree with Kimberly and Stephen -- life is a heck of a lot more important than words on a page. And the words will still be there when you're ready. It's kind of like riding a bike, I think. You might feel a little rusty when you truly dive back in, but once you've put down a few pages, the words do start flowing again. I regularly take "off" every summer from writing so I can spend time with my son. He's 10 and soon he won't want to hang out with me, so I'm going to make sure I appreciate it now. Plus, I'll have plenty of time to write when I'm sitting up until all hours waiting for him to get home. :)

  4. My sister tweeted me a quote from Sister Act 2, and now I can't remember why. lol "If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is singing, you're a singer, girl."


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