Writing as a Calling?

Thinking up what to write about here today brought to mind an odd analogy.

When I was in labor with my second child, my labor went so fast that I was forced to do it “naturally”. With my first child I had an epidural and never felt that “urge to push” that I’d heard of. The OB told me to push and I did. When the “urge to push” came on me during my second labor I decided it was ill-named. It wasn’t an “urge” it was a “mandate from God”. Choice didn’t come into it.

Some people have strong opinions about what makes a writer, and how that differs from being an author. My own definition was that an author gets paid. But I’ve heard people claim you’re not really a writer if you don’t write every day, if you don’t feel like you’ll die if you don’t write constantly. I disagree with this.

Writing is, for me, exhausting. I love it, but it turns my brain to jelly and I have to rest a bit afterwards. I can push out 50K words in a month, but then I have to take time off. I can write 5K in a day, but then I’m just worked for several days. I find it a good balance to write for a bit, edit for a bit, rinse repeat.

This week someone asked me if I considered my first published work (See the Silver Linings page) a platform for my life’s work. I hardly knew how to respond. I don’t feel like I have a “life’s work”. I appreciate the modern world that allows me to share my work with people easily, but I don’t have an agenda.

Which brings us to the title of this article. Do I feel like I have a calling to write? No, not really. But I have to write. Not every day, like some people claim is necessary. But it’s more than an urge, more like a mandate. If not from God, then at least from my own nature.

I’m not called, I’m commanded. When I can channel this to do some good, that’s wonderful. But I write because I have stories in me that want to come out.

And when I don’t know what to work on next, I feel… a little lost. I have story ideas, but I also have several novels nearly ready for their introduction to the world. So I write my blog posts, here and at Fastlane, and dabble with my W(s)IP, and look forward to when I can unleash my inner storyteller again.

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