Though no horns blare in the night, no sirens resonate through the streets and no smoke signals are spotted at a distance, there is an ever-present calling to write that I just can’t seem to ignore. And after a very intense experience, I realized that, if neglected, this vocation can go from a mild itch to a burning rash. At which point, I have to write… no, I mean: I HAVE TO WRITE! The urgency to fulfill this action basically doubles in size and becomes this living breathing thing that will not allow peace or rest until I have submitted – think of Predator, a literate one. Mind you, I have put up fights, resisted, and refused, but in the end it is a loosing battle.
Allow me to describe the sensations... At first, it is a measly suggestion, barely there. I think: Oh, I want to write this down. Almost indistinctly, there is a subtle transformation from proposal to insistence. It begins to feel pressing, a sort of pushy perseverance makes itself known. Kind of like if you had to go to the bathroom (without the haunting possibility of having an “accident”.) I consider: Oh, I should really write. And then, the feeling intensifies. It is no longer a pleasant inclination or an amusing hobby, now, it is a niggling urge to express. It beats relentlessly into my system until I feel: I have to write!
There is a bitter taste of dissatisfaction that disrupts my senses the longer I go without writing. So then comes the part I fold like a crappy hand of poker, just before I have an anxiety attack. Freed from the suffocating need to write I can now breathe in calm and exhale satisfaction. Writing is truly that powerful for me. It is more than gluing letters together to produce spelled-approved words to later be placed in an orderly fashion to make coherent sentence so that afterward it can complement an articulate paragraph. Writing is much more than a matter of literature and grammar - though just because I can string words together doesn’t mean I should wait for my Pulitzer in the mail.
For me, there is a cathartic effect. To write is to be free, able to make anything come alive through words and language. It is the endless possibilities of a written creation that draws me in, as well as the essential freedom to express. Without it, I simply wouldn’t feel right, there would be something wrong, something missing, and before long there would be something unrecognizable about myself. Why? Because, as confusing or senseless as this may sound, I have discovered that I am defined by my writing. I am who I want to be when I write.
So, in conclusion, is there really such a thing as a calling to write? I sure as hell think so. It is an impulse similar to that of a photographer wanting to capture a moment in time, and not just remember things as they once were. Writing gives voice without speech, it gives sight without illustrations, it gives liberty to experience without restriction... it simply gives a lot more than we can imagine.