Why I haven’t been writing – By Ato Kwamina Dadzie

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Someone recently sent me a message on Facebook, seeking to know why I “just abandoned ship”. Let’s call her M but I will be quick to add that she’s not James Bond’s former boss, who recently died in Skyfall. This particular M is a Ghanaian who wanted me to explain why I haven’t been putting up more blogs even though she pointed out that some my writings were really “off cut”.  She also said something to salve my ego, which I suppose she knows is quite fragile but I won’t get into that.

M is just one of many people who have sent me messages seeking an explanation for why my blog has been so bereft of new writings for well over 12 months. These messages have ranged from kind entreaties to start writing again to damning suggestions that I should stay in whatever hole I’m hiding in. All good, but hopefully most of us will live long enough to see who wins eventually. For now, though, I think it is only fair to put out a short word about why I haven’t been writing.

The last time I wrote for this blog was in August 2011. Earlier in the year, I had won the Gordon N. Fellowship to go rub shoulders with very smart, intelligent, progressive people at Massey College at the University of Toronto. As I wrote the last article, I’m sure I had my passport and plane ticket either in my hand or within easy reach. I just couldn’t wait to get out, take a break from work, do something new that wouldn’t lead me into all the troubles I seemed to enjoy getting myself into and acquire new experiences. The next 12 months turned out to be the best of my life – professionally and personally.

I will never forget my year at Massey College and all the wonderful people I met there. Massey College gave me an opportunity to take a pause, reflect on who I am and who I could be, what I do, how I do it and the results I should get from everything I do. I also realized in the past year that there is something liberating about acquiring new knowledge and having your worldview challenged. So I took the decision that instead of just spewing my thoughts at every opportunity, I should go out there and seek new perspectives. That meant keeping my big mouth firmly shut, talking less and listening more. I also took the decision to fundamentally change the course of my career and my life.

And the first step towards that was to stay in school for a little while longer. So I’m currently in Carleton University studying for a Masters degree in Journalism. It’s difficult to do all these while maintaining a blog – even more so, when much of your audience is somewhere near the Equator and you are getting frozen somewhere near the Arctic. So I’m sorry if I seem to have abandoned ship. In good time, I’d either get back on board or just build a new one.

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