32 Comments

For me, it is a palpable restlessness when I feel the call to paint something and don't have time to do it. It hurts like being away from a nursing baby with full breasts.

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I will try it. Sunrise is always my best inspiration for writing ❤️

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A lovely meditation; thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom! When words come to me, I repeat them as long as I can until I get to write them.

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“There was a sensation in my chest like the pull of a receding wave accompanied by a rising exhilaration. I’ve learned this is my call to go and write.” — I love that, Priya. It is amazing how in tune you are with the call.

When an idea strikes me, something I’d like to write about it at least explore with some stream of consciousness writing, I feel the call, like a rush of excitement. And I feel I have to get to a pen and paper or at least my voice memos in my phone as quick as I can to note down the initial idea.

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Lovely Priya! It’s funny you wrote this because a similar thought had been percolating in my head... along the lines of how quickly I’ve adapted to this writing life and how right it feels to me... will need to jot it down. Thanks for this!

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This is a beautiful post ... thank you for the invitation. We are called by 'adventure' - though, perhaps it is travel too, and gatherings of kindred spirits. We remembered last year, as we were knee deep in gluts of fruit and vegetables that we had nurtured, that this little farm is meant to be a basecamp, not an anchor. It is a place to launch out from and a place to recharge. So we are called back to adventures (and words, always words).

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What a beautiful description of this inspiration of words that seem to bubble out of nowhere. It usually hits me when I’m on a walk. I’m considering dictating on my phone because they disappear by the time I get home and made a tea.

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I love this imagery of the call! With writing, the words often flow at the most inopportune moments -- when I’m about to fall asleep, when I’ve stepped out somewhere without my phone...With painting, if I’ve been away from the studio for a few days, I feel a sense of restlessness or emptiness, and I know that’s my cue to go pick up my paints.

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Love the Campbell quote at the end.

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Jan 21·edited Jan 21Liked by Priya Iyer

Campbell is good. Have you read John Yorke "Into the Woods" and his Roadmap of Change?

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Unfortunately for me, this feeling often comes in the middle of the night. I awake and fall asleep telling myself that I will remember in the morning. I never do.

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I am so moved by your writing, Priya. Don't know which newsletter you posted on the @sarahfay thread. I read this, love your writing and want to hear more of it. Am subscribing. The image of the lush green forest--I'll try to hold on to it when I'm pulled to do something that feels essential

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Mar 4Liked by Priya Iyer

Exactly this occurrence I call ‘intuitive call’ and I agree with everything you describe

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I also hear words in my head and that is my signal to begin. I'm a fiction writer so if a character starts speaking to me, or a description starts to come through, I have to get to my pen and paper to capture it and continue. I'm struggling to remember who it was (Muriel Spark?) but someone likened it to picking up a telephone and listening in.

I love the way you situate your posts in a real place and time: it's so easy to feel sort of disembodied (as writer and reader) here online/on Substack!

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