Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Urge

Do you feel it coming? It's there, you know, waiting just over the horizon, peeking at you, softly whispering its presence. It's there, getting ready to pounce. Once it does, there is nothing you can do but succumb.

Each of us feels it in our own unique way. It can come upon us anytime, anywhere. In the bathroom, at three in the morning, while eating dinner or making love (ok, I, personally have never felt it at that particular time, but someone probably has), on a train, in the rain, in a box, with a fox...Dr. Seuss help me, I'm babbling...

For me it happens a few times per week. Usually at work. I'm sitting outside or in the lobby reading a book (at the time of this writing I'm reading Firestorm, by Nevada Barr. I'm also recording The Fury, by Jason Pinter)and suddenly it leaps into my brain and my body and my blood. I fidget and try to concentrate on the book, but I know I'll have to stop reading and follow the urge.

Actually, I love it when the urge hits. You do, too. I know you do. You wouldn't be what you are if you didn't. You love to fall under its spell, thrive on the rush and are happy to let it carry you where it wants. And you pray there are no distractions to derail you. Because you love the rush, you love the high, you love the pain in your hand and the mental exhaustion after it's over. Sometimes, you have to consciously step off the track and take a breath before jumping back on again.

Name it what you will, The Zone, The Urge, The Need, The Desire, it's there and you want it. Even those who haven't felt it for awhile want it. For me, it can't be forced. I can't hunt it down and make it conform to my will. If I do, it becomes misshapen, skewed, altered and the results are substandard.
For me, I have to wait, sometimes days, let it stalk me. While I'm waiting, I'll go ahead and find a temporary Zone and ease on down the tracks on my own and that's okay, too. Taking the time, making the time.'s always out there, waiting, watching, sometimes teasing. It may touch, then pull away and leave me wondering, clutching at emptiness. But usually, it's merciful and leaps back into me in a short time.

I imagine some of you reading this post are wondering just what type of craziness is this guy talking about. Is he on drugs? Is he craving liquor?
Maybe his need is chocolate ice cream. (Well, not so much anymore with the new diet. Yeah, that's another story) What is it?

Those in the know don't have to wonder. It's been openly discussed amongst the ones who feel it. It's no secret; it isn't sheltered and hidden away like an embarrassment. There's no need to be ashamed of it.

Of course, it's the rush, the urge, the need to write. To pick up pen and paper, to open up a word document on the laptop and write. I know a man who write two hours every morning from five to seven and though I haven't spoken with him about it, I know he feels it, too, at other times during the day. I know a man who has just recently had his second book published and he feels it, too. I know a woman who is so close to crossing the publishing line, she tastes it, and she gets that urge more than I do.

It's what you do, write. It's what you are, a writer. Some are beginners, some are dabblers, some are those who can write only crap no matter how hard they try (and believe me, I've met some of them). But they all feel it at some point. The serious know what it is and know what to do with it when it comes.

You can't resist. You don't want to resist. Resistance is futile.

I only write this, because I'm feeling it now. I've gotta go.

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