Being a writer means to follow a call. I don’t have in mind the call of the wild that Jack London immortalized between the covers of countless editions of his novel first published in 1903. The call of the words is much subtler and can easily be overheard in the background noise of grown-ups telling you to be realistic and of peers inviting you to have fun. No matter how old you are, as an aspiring or emerging writer you should always be prepared to hear yourself called a dreamer. I take it for a compliment.
Someone who is a dreamer doesn’t necessarily live in the clouds. I admit, however, that it can be difficult to reconcile the creation of fiction and the facts of life, especially because the average fellow-citizen shows little understanding for the artistic vein. Most people can accept that a young person follows the call of the words and tries to make her or his way in the world of literature, but only for a while. Sooner or later they will be urged to grow up and get a job to make a living like everybody else.
Getting a paid job usually means that the straight way to becoming a writer is blocked because creativity is forced into a fixed schedule. It takes a lot of courage and determination to still follow the call of the words through the maze of life. It isn’t easy to hold on to a dream against all obstacles, but a born writer doesn’t have a choice. For us spinning stories is a need just like eating and drinking. If it means a sleepless night in front of the computer, we can’t help it. Nature is stronger! The call of the words is stronger.