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  • Writer's pictureReena Deen

Writers With Secret Personas

No, don't get your imagination running. I am not talking about writers who are serial killers or tyrants in hiding. I am talking about writers who have cool day jobs. Maybe they are firefighters or even the president. Or writers with awesome side hustles. Like a writer who is a belly dancer or takes up clown gigs to make some extra bucks to fuel the writing addiction. Or maybe you are one of those amazing humans who actually have time despite a job, family, pets, endless vacuuming PLUS writing to have a hobby. That’s who I am looking for!

I got this idea because of me. Sadly, I can’t say that I fall in the category of having an awesome day job though teaching my students with special needs does make me feel awesome 😊 And I don’t have a side hustle. BUT I did recently find an interesting hobby! And before you praise my fantastic time management skills, I have to admit that I have no family and I do not own a vacuum ( As an Asian I only believe in the good old fashioned broom and mop).

I discovered…HIKING! I live in a tiny island city of Singapore which is about 728.6km and when I mean city I mean spanking new buildings, roads and malls. That’s it. We haven’t got mountains, lakes or even the vast nature parks of most countries. So, it doesn’t sound much in the way of hiking, right? WRONG.

What I did discover was a wonderful albeit secret underground community who explores and finds abandoned, forgotten world war 2 and pre-war structures all over Singapore. These structures are in some incredibly hard to access spots. Why? Some are in the very few patches of forested area left in Singapore. I mean they are teeny, tiny patches of forest but we are talking tropical here guys. Mosquitoes, thick, thorny bushes and never-ending carpet of roots. Not to mention no one has the exact GPS and GPS might not work. So yeah, we’ve gotten lost plenty of time but so far we haven’t had to call the police for help (It happens fairly often)

I never expected to find something that I loved other than writing and reading. It completely consumed me. Maybe I was so fascinated because finally in my life I found myself spending hours doing something just for fun. Hiking isn’t going to pay me a single cent. Heck, I had to spend money for proper shoes and ponchos that didn’t tear on the first thorn.

But it also opened up a lot of questions for me. I felt bad for not writing. Previously, I would spend all the free time I had in writing. I didn’t mind reading for leisure because I felt like that would help my writing. But hiking? Nope! I often found myself in a dilemma. Should I hike in my free time or write? I seriously felt like I was betraying my writing by hiking!

I honestly haven't resolved my internal conflict but it did give me the idea to start this interview series. Who knows? Maybe by the end of it, I will be at peace with not writing myself to death ALL the time.

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