The post below was written almost four years ago, when I was struggling with this question. I was pleased to see that I no longer struggle with it. In fact, after a full surrender, things shifted for me in a wonderful way. Not only do I have as many contracts as I can handle, I’m having a chance to write the kind of books I have always loved to read. What made the difference in four years? Read below, and you’ll see…
Do you believe you are called to write? Or do you suspect you are?
If that’s true, why aren’t you pursuing your calling?
Food for Thought
This weekend I started reading Callings by Gregg Levoy, the author of a very practical book for writers called This Business of Writing. In Callings, he said some thought-provoking things that gave me pause.
I started writing thirty years ago, and until six months ago, there were many reasons why I couldn’t give my all-out devotion to writing: a full-time day job of teaching, raising four children, multiple jobs in the church and community, serious health problems and surgeries, etc. But last fall I retired from teaching, my children are grown, and I can decide how much I babysit grandchildren and how much volunteer work I do. It’s a time I’ve been anticipating for three decades.
So…am I pursuing my writer’s calling with full devotion? I want to. I dream about it. I can almost taste it sometimes. But do I do it? No.
I’m not sure, but these quotes from Callings are helping me ask the right questions. Maybe these ideas will help you too.
- “Although we have the choice not to follow a call, if we do not do so,..we’ll feel alienated from ourselves, listless and frustrated, and fitful with boredom, the common cold of the soul. Life will feel so penetratingly dull and pointless that we may become angry, and turn the anger inward against ourselves (one definition of depression).”
- “Generally, people won’t pursue their callings until the fear of doing so is finally exceeded by the pain of not doing so.”
- “Perhaps the main reason that we ignore calls is that we instinctively know the price they’ll exact.”
- “All calls lead to some sacrifice because even just one choice closes the door on another, and some calls lead to much sacrifice, which may feel anything but blissful.”
- “At some level we need to devote everything, our whole selves. A part-time effort, a sorta-kinda commitment, an untested promise, won’t suffice. You must know that you mean business, that you’re going to jump into it up to your eye sockets and not turn back at the last minute.”
Will the Rubber Meet the Road Now?
I’ve had thirty years of (by necessity) a “part-time effort” and “an untested promise.” Now that I have the time and could choose to do so, will I “jump into it up to [my] eye sockets”?
Is the pain of not doing so finally more than the fear of trying? Yes, I think so.
How about you?