I read a number of online newsletters for writers, to stay on top of contests and possible markets.
The one I'm reading now has an interview with a writer each month. I'm catching up on a backlog of issues right now, so I've read a few in a row.
Every single interviewee has said, "I didn't choose writing. Writing chose me."
What does this mean exactly? It's beginning to seem to me like the writer's equivalent of the athlete's traditional thanking-of-the-lord following each and every victory.
Seems to me like these people did choose writing.
As someone with a more materialist approach to writing, I get easily bothered by this sort of statement, that elevates writing up to a kind of mystical, "find your voice" kind of ethereal state. Writing can definitely have therapeutic value. But when we are talking about writing as an art form, why do we talk about it as a mystical gift? Why can't people say, "Yes, I chose to be a writer and I worked really hard at it," instead of pretending like it just came to them in a dream?