10 Feb 2011

Can you hear me calling?....Word of the Week

(Vocation n: Specified occupation/a special urge, inclination, or predisposition to a particular calling or career, esp a religious one. Etym: from Latin vocātiō  a calling, from vocāre  to call)

This week's WoTW has been a bit of a slippery fish for me to blog about. It's taken awhile for all my thoughts around Vocation to percolate into some kind of coherent thought and statement about how I feel about `a calling to write`. To give you a heads up, I think this post will be a little more introspective about how I came to write and what drives me. I hope that maybe, in some small way, this resounds with you (my amorphous audience out there) and encourages you with your writing. I shall begin....

I can't say for sure that my desire to write is a calling along the lines of a religious calling, of taking vows and committing to a particular belief or faith *but* I do think that wanting to write, having that burning compulsion to craft or make something from the thoughts in your head requires a faith in something invisible but nevertheless very real and *there* in much the same way that those of a religious calling put their faith in god.

But yet this calling to write is such a fickle siren song for me - it takes so much out of me and gives so little back sometimes. It drives me on to continue putting words and thoughts and feelings onto paper, onto my blog, into my PC, to tweet and facebook and chat to other people endlessly about their writing and reading and blogging. I'm not sure where this drive first came from - I guess it was a song in my heart and head that beckoned me, tempted me, even as a child to put words down on paper.

I loved to read from a young age, to disappear into new worlds, to travel to far flung places from the safety of my playroom (yes, I had a playroom...) so it came as no surprise to anyone, least of all me, that I loved to write as a child. But then I stopped....and I'm not sure why. And I'm not sure how, nearly 20 years later I came to reclaim that cast aside pen and paper and return to the simple process of , well, writing!

I dabbled in poetry as a teenager (didn't we all), I started, fitfully the odd story or idea in my head but then I just ground to halt. I lost all belief in my own abilities as a writer - I told myself that I was worthless, the poems were worthless, there was no point. It was a futile endeavour and best I gave it up now before everyone else could see what a failure I was. But still well into my late teens and early 20's, that siren song to write kept calling me from inside my heart.

Unfortunately, other people seemed to be able to hear it as well. If I had a pound for every time someone - friends, family, work colleagues, total strangers - has asked me if I'm writing a book, when am i going to write a book, am I published yet - well I could fund the libraries myself. So clearly out there, somewhere that siren song is now audible about my person.

I guess, sometime around 2009 I thought `fuck it` and started to give in and swim across to the siren's rock. What if I have a go at this writing *thing*. I just got so fed up with dancing to the same tune, it was time to write to a new one. As I have blogged earlier this year, I dipped my toe in the water by starting this blog for a few months. But then again I doubted myself and I cast my writing aside. Fear of failure yet again preventing me from creating anything much at all.

I trundled on, I got married, I changed jobs - and with my job, I discovered a new me. Yes! I could be creative. Yes! I had ideas - and they may be daft - but they were ideas - and from daftness can, sometimes, come gold. It was as if something had come unstoppered in my head. Where had these ideas come from - this part of my brain that clearly, had lain dormant for years and years. I had denied myself my creative streak and for what reason - nothing at all.

So finally, last november, those `feathery maniacs`, the sirens in my head sang loudly and clearly - and this time I was proud to hear their song -and to sing along with it. I have my 50k of novel, I have this blog - which you people are reading, so I must be doing something right. I think perhaps maybe, I should take pride in the fact that I have this song in my head and in my heart - and this time, I'm listening to it with my whole self.

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building


  1. Indeed, pat yourself on the back. It's good to do things because you want to and it makes you happy. It's good to take a risk now and then.


  2. Yes, you are to be applauded for listening to the sirens and joining in the music!

  3. If you wake up every morning, thinking about writing, then you are a writer.

    Give in to the call. It will make you happy :)

  4. writers are communicators. we like to trade ideas with people (and each other), if you've got ideas (which you most certainly do) then broadcast them, share them. don't second guess. don't self-edit (not that way anyway)....and to be truthful.....isn't it ultimately a lot of fun? so enjoy your voice. you ARE a writer!