Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, "I believe that––if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression––you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns. . . I was writing's devotional handmaiden. I built my entire life around writing."
Religion has never been a strong point of mine. My experiences with organized spirituality have been cultish in nature, generally harmful, or clearly lacking truth. Spirituality is no easy thing, but this concept––creation as holy calling––means a little more. Creation, it might be argued, is the purest form of devotion.
Maybe its a good thing. Maybe this unceasing urge to write is part of an obbsessive disorder that revolves around filling blank pages with letters. Maybe creativity is a human psycosis born of some prehistoric desire to connect with some higher power.
Whatever the reason, writing doesn't feel so much a holy calling as it does an unstoppable force. Maybe that is what a holy calling is. If I ever meet Elizabeth Gilbert, I'll be sure to ask her what a holy calling feels like.
Until then, it's my writer's duty to be the devotional handmaiden to my craft.
This post is part of a series of daily writing exercises for 2020.
Today's post comes as a reaction to a selection of Elizabeth Gilbert quotes I've kept pinned on my wall for years.