Personal Stories

A Writer’s Calling

By AJ Morton

For almost all my life I’ve known that I was meant to write stories. I’ve always been enchanted by the idea of being able to create an entire fictional world out of a few sheets of paper and some ink. People always laugh when I tell them how I first started writing. When I was in third grade, my parents didn’t allow me to eat candy (remember that little detail; it’ll be important later). One day, I received an assignment from one of my teachers to write a short narrative essay. Third grade me was a master of procrastination and waited until the last day before the assignment was due to start on it. Coincidentally, my parents, who had always practically written my essays for me, decided to leave me home alone for that night. So, I was unable to turn to them for help.

I wanted to do something just to spite them for it, so I stole a candy bar from the jar that was conveniently placed near the computer. This may sound silly, but I owe my entire existence to that candy jar. The moment I ate that candy bar, I wanted more, and continued to eat until the jar was empty (the butt-whipping I got the next morning is a story for another time).But you see, while my parents told me I wasn’t allowed to have candy, what they didn’t tell me was why I wasn’t allowed to have candy, thus leading to the unexpected sugar rush. My mind suddenly started working triple time, and I came up with a story. Vivid details suddenly flooded into my head, and I had to do something with them. So, I wrote them.

Now, the assignment was to write two pages, but by the end of that night I had written twelve pages. And the strange thing that I noticed was that I actually enjoyed doing it. When I turned in the assignment, my teacher was amazed. She said that what I had written was the greatest work she had ever seen (so much so that she was willing to overlook the fact that it ended up having nothing to do with the prompt). It was in that moment that I realized that this was simply what I was meant to do. Speaking bluntly, writing was the only thing I was good at, and the only thing I enjoyed doing. So, I strove to become an author. And lo and behold, nine years later, I did it. In the past month, I’ve written the first of what I hope will be many novels; “The Disciples of Ubiaxus,” my greatest work yet.

What I hope people learn from my story is that everyone has something they can do for the world, and that the universe sometimes has a silly way of reminding them of it. For me it was a school assignment. For a future veterinarian, it might be a bird with a broken wing. For a future doctor, a loved one that has come down with a cold. If there is something you are meant to do, the world has its way of letting you know. All you need to do is answer its call.

This post was originally published in January of 2020.

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