When you hit a brick wall

» Posted on Nov 17, 2007 in Blog | 4 comments

No, this isn’t about finding the right insurance. If I’d hit a brick wall literally, I probably wouldn’t be writing this and definitely I would be dealing with insurance. But I am speaking metaphorically about hitting a brick wall. As much as you might like the wall to give and you be able to keep going, sometimes you can’t. It stands firm, blocking your way. So what do you do?

Look for a way around the wall, not through it. This happened to me recently with my job as a teacher (and affects my job as a writer) of special education. I was shutting down creatively because I was so stressed. My health was being affected, too. I kept beating my head against that brick wall, trying to go through it and keep going. The immovable wall won, however.

I knew some of the things you can do for stress (exercise, take time for yourself, sleep), but I didn’t have the time to exercise or for myself and sleep was definitely erratic, which only made the situation worse.

That’s when I stopped and took stock of my life. What could I do differently to make my situation better? I prayed to the Lord for a solution, a sign showing me what to do. And thankfully He gave me one. He presented me with an opportunity that wouldn’t be possible if I was teaching.

In the end I decided it was time for me to retire as a teacher and to write full-time. This is a scary move for me, but one that is necessary if I wanted to continue to write and have a life. I know that was a drastic move, but I’ve been able to retire for three years. I love working with the students, but the special education paperwork was drowning me in a sea of uselessness. The government is so good at coming up with ways to occupy your time with “stuff” that has nothing to do with teaching.

What are some ways you have gone around the brick wall? Or better yet, some ways you have been able to get rid of the wall altogether.


  1. I’m delighted to have found your blog… writers intrigue me and when they are open and frank with their readers, my attention is arrested and I’m hungry for more! Can I find any of your published books at the local library? I am eager to explore them for myself!
    – Jo

  2. Is this true, Margaret??? You’re retiring from teaching to write full-time? As productive as you were before, I can’t even imagine what this means for your writing! Can’t wait to hear more about this new opportunity God sent your way!

  3. I’m sorry for your students because I can tell they’re losing a caring teacher. I’m ECSTATIC for myself and other readers who devour your books.

    Best wishes and prayers as you follow God down this new scary, path.

  4. Margaret –
    I heard this news the other day and totally understand what you mean. I was very close to the same situation last year (in the wise words of you-know-who – I was close to pulling my hand *out* of the bucket). Finally I decided to hand it over to the Lord and while it’s been tough, I realize that I can only control myself and my reactions, not the people around me. I also find that the winter is tougher on me, maybe because I never see the sunlight during the winter months.

    I’ll miss you!! I hope you keep in touch with us all 🙂

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