Did you chose writing, or did it chose you?

I’ve had an intense relationship with the writing process for as long as I can remember. I recall going on play dates as a little girl and suggesting to my friends that we write a book instead of play with Barbies. Sadly, as you can imagine, Barbies won every time. Lately though, I have become obsessive about writing, to the point of considering dedicating all my education resources to the craft.

In attempt to solve my quarter-life college induced major re-thinking crisis I began reviewing the list of degrees offered at San Francisco State University. The “Technical and Professional Writing” BA caught my eye, sending me on an hour long Googling session about what a career in Technical writing would actually entail (in a later post I will present my findings).

Along the way, I found a blog called I’d Rather Be Writing, authored by a practicing technical writer which led me to a post titled “Writing as a Holy Calling.”

The notion of the “holy calling” suggests that writing is less of a hobby and more of an unavoidable calling for some individuals. Although there are more talented, seasoned, intuitive writers than I, I consider myself to be one of those people writing has called upon. It is not an activity I want to do, but rather it is something I have to do. It consumes my thoughts to the point where if I have a bad or traumatic experience, there is a little voice in the back of my head that says, “it’s okay, at least you’ll have something new to journal about!”

Like many folks who enjoy writing, I often find myself writing in my head during the day, flipping through my mental book of adjectives to find the perfect words to describe my surroundings. Every overheard conversation is a dialogue opportunity-an idea from which to build. This habit and thought process is the reason I believe writing chose me. I didn’t consciously make it a hobby, but I know at this point, I won’t feel satisfied with my week until I word purge on paper (or digital paper). When I read, I get distracted from the plot because I am focused on how strong of an urge I have to write and I tell myself the only way I’m going to be able to improve my writing skills is to read. Thus begins a vicious cycle of writing, reading, and getting overwhelmed with writing and reading.

If this sounds like you, then writing might be less of a hobby and more of a call you have no choice but to answer. Consider yourself whipped.

Whatever “holy calling” pushes me to write has been there for longer than I would care to admit. Perhaps, I haven’t wanted to accept it until now, because I never thought the compulsion could carry any weight in selecting my future career. However, the more I research, the more I realize that writing provides for other career opportunities outside of bestselling novel composition worth exploring.

If you think that writing chose you too, I encourage you to accept your need to create as many of the wonderful word puzzles that are sentences as you can. Don’t dismiss the idea that your inner author can potentially walk you down a fulfilling career path. Use the call of pen and paper to your advantage.

Did you chose writing, or did it chose you? 


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