Tuesday, July 31, 2012


You don’t use your imagination. It uses you. –Wendy Videlock.
I don’t believe that people choose to be writers: the words choose the people; and they choose pretty carefully. –David Lee.

Hopefully, one doesn’t have to have been writing long before they encounter the sense that something separate from themselves is driving things. Some folks talk about receiving inspiration, being taken by an idea that won’t let go until it’s made manifest, of being called to their writing. If they’re called, then who’s the caller?
Allow me a moment to acknowledge that not every writer feels the presence of some outside entity joining them in the studio; and there’s much to be said against laying too much responsibility and accountability in the hands of anyone other than ourselves. But I’ve noticed that even the seemingly most atheistic and philosophically materialistic of writers will, at least off the record, admit to times when it feels more like they’re dictating or transcribing, rather than writing. There does, indeed, seem to be a willing (willful) partner in the game.
There’s a creative-centric bon mot, “When the muse calls, don’t send it to voice-mail.” Thus, I must pick one particular nit with what Lee says: The world is riddled with those who have chosen to ignore, turn away from, where they’re called to go; we do exercise some choice in the matter.
Likewise, as I said earlier, we still have responsibility to and accountability for the work we’re called to do. As Twyla Tharp noted in, The Creative Habit, “…but whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work.” Being called requires an answering, and a taking of action.
When someone displays a particular talent that distinguishes them, we’ll say they have been gifted with writing/drawing/singing/whatever; or we’ll say they have a gift for whatever, or are a gifted ________. This gift stuff isn’t isolated, isn’t unidirectional. Our talent is a gift we receive, and one we’re obligated to share.

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