Writing is just something I have to do, like eating, sleeping, breathing. When art journals, collage and paint distract me, when I want to hide inside a new novel, or just stare at the television, writing calls me. I suppose it's the voice of my muse and her gentle hand, that pushes me to the desk. I can't get away from it. It can be morning pages, an idea for a new short story, a prompt for a flash fiction piece or some line of poetry that latches on, whatever--it calls and I must answer.

I ask myself often, perhaps daily, why I write. Why does the feel of a pen in my fingers and the slick smooth surface of a blank page on the heel of my hand make my heart beat faster? why can I never ignore it. And not just writing itself, but things related to writing--classes, conferences, books on writing, lists of writing prompts, articles online about how to put together a chapbook or a short story collection. They sing like the robins and sparrows whose lilting warbles wake me in the morning.

I may resist it, but eventually I must start again. I have a short story collection that is nearly there. A few more stories to revise, a couple already published, and then the queries have to go out to agents and small presses.

Like the squeal of a siren, the cry of a baby, or the whimper of a puppy--it will not be ignored.

If only they made velcro pillows for my writing chair that would keep me there until I finished. I have to follow.I have to commit. I have to do what I must do.


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