For years, I heard and read writers declaring that writing had chosen them. It was part of their core and they had no choice, but to write. It was an internal drive; a need that had to be met. It was often accompanied by a list of the many things the writer could and would give up before taking a moment away from his or her writing. These explanations most often left me wondering what was wrong with me. Why didn’t I feel this way? I enjoy writing. I enjoy the feeling of having completed a project. I love the idea of connecting with another human being through words. The truth is, though, I get the same pleasure from many other things too. I would not lose my sense of purpose if I didn’t write for a week or two. Or three. Or four. I could find plenty of other things to do with my time that would bring me equal pleasure.
The truth is writing hasn’t chosen me; I’ve chosen it. For a long time, I thought this made me less of a writer. How could I belong to this club if I didn’t feel the way the other members of the group were feeling? Finally, I came to realize the thing that connects writers is writing. We may not all feel the driving power of the muse within us, but if we follow the basic advice of Jane Yolen – butt in chair- and get our words on paper, then we are writers. How about you? Has writing chosen you or have you chosen it?