Rachelle Gardner Got Me Thinking. Is Writing My Calling?

December 1, 2011

I read a great post Monday by literary agent Rachelle Gardner. The topic? Called to Write. She asked writers “Have you questioned your calling as a writer?”

The truth is, that I never really thought about writing as a “calling” or even a career (my mother never gives up hope that I’ll get a real job). In fact, I had been a published writer for years before I learned to call myself “a writer.” After all, writing is just something I do. You know, like breathing or eating, and I don’t call myself a breather or an eater.

No, I just write.

Almost every real job that I ever had, I either added writing to my duties, made it a writing position or was hired because of my writing (not a good thing because I wasn’t qualified for the actual position). This includes two receptionist jobs, a secretary position, a human resources position, and a job at a resume service.

And I write.

My volunteer work includes writing and editing a PTA newsletter and parent handbook, co-editing and producing a cookbook for our local M.O.M.’s Club, serving as the Wyoming State PTA Arts Chair, and teaching a course titled “Writing for Publication” to the G.A.T.E. class at our local elementary school.

And still I write.

It doesn’t matter what it is. I am happy writing advertising copy, television commercials (this started out as one of the receptionist positions), press releases, magazine articles…even resumes…poetry and of course fiction.

Just let me write.

So, do I question whether I’ve been called to write? Never.

Now does that mean that I am confident in my ability? If I was I wouldn’t need deadlines. I would just send off my work when I knew it was “done.” As far as I’m concerned it’s never good enough, so I’m editing until I have to send it…and it’s still not good enough.   Now that’s a whole other question, and there are times when I want to throw away a completed manuscript. (My hunky hubby, Paul, has rescued one manuscript at least three times from the garbage truck.)

Rachelle shared a great checklist for evaluating whether writing is your calling. I know it’s not conclusive, however, except for one item on the list, I’ve got them covered. I think I’ll keep my butt in my chair and write.

How about you? Do you question your calling to write? Do you find yourself turning everything into a reason to write? Would you feel as though one of your primary life support systems had been shut off if you couldn’t write? What’s your calling?

See you later, I have to go write…



3 Responses to “Rachelle Gardner Got Me Thinking. Is Writing My Calling?”

  1. rosellezubey Says:

    I have had insecurities and uncertain feelings about my writing, but never have I doubted that writing is my calling or vocation as we say in the Catholic church. I wasn standing in the Cathedral in San Francisco and felt that I should be a communicator of some kind. Wanting to be a writer was my response to that. In fact, I should have started doing when I had that feeling over thirty years ago and because of those doubts and insecurities I mentioned I couldn’t do it. Now I am making up for lost time.

  2. rosellezubey-I love that you know the moment that you felt compelled to write!! What a beautiful story. I’m glad that you’re writing now. Sometimes it takes awhile to to overcome our insecurities…I’m not sure we every really do, but we can push on through them….it’s never too late!!

  3. Hey, Tari! Look at me so late to comment. Better late than never, huh?

    Writing is my calling, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to heed the calling. If I’m away from the blank page too long, the voices in my head grow restless. I’ve gone years without letting them have their say, and those weren’t happy years. Writing is my calling and my salvation. 🙂


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