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by Betsy Price, MS1

There are things that I’ll never be and tasks that I’ll never pursue—not because I can’t but because I shouldn’t. There’s a certain call for adventure and rebellion that screams out to everyone, whether it be in little whispers or gigantic urges, and some people act on these desires. I do, too, when I curl up in my bed with my computer on my knees, pulling the blankets around my shoulders; when I sit at my desk because I need a tiny bit of structure in my otherwise chaotic life; when I’m at the library in whatever comfortable chair I can find that’s also near an outlet (my laptop never seems to hold a full charge when I need it to); when I’m in Starbucks nursing a green tea latte with soy milk and trying with decidedly little success to block out the odd taste in music that is their store playlist. I act on them whenever my fingers dance across the keyboard to create sequences of words and eventual sentences and paragraphs and pages, stringing together every letter in a process not unlike DNA sequencing. I, too, can create a human being, after all, and I do.

Writing is my adventure. My characters are often very much like me but so incredibly different. Most are much stronger than me. Many are more immoral than myself. A few are more heartbroken, others more carefree. Some are more intelligent, intuitive. I have a special type of affection reserved for each one.

When they embark on a journey, I go with them with laptop at the ready and plot twists forming in my brain like the beginnings of a hurricane. There does, however, come a point when my brain works more quickly than my fingers can type, and I find myself stuck with worlds in my head and rapidly developing characters screaming for exposure or recognition on a blank word document. Days roll by when writing is difficult. Perhaps I’m anxious, I’m probably tired, I might be feeling down and the words that I need refuse to be formed from the expansive chaos that my plotting brain has become. On days such as those, I remind myself of a quote I heard once, a passing thought gleaned from some Youtube documentary:

“This thing that we have won’t exist without us, and it’s necessary.”

I plaster that quote everywhere I see a blank space—on the whiteboard in my kitchen, on a digital sticky note I see every time I open my computer. I force myself to remember that sentence often.

The calling for action and suspense and a life that I wouldn’t experience otherwise is always there, but without a willing participant, it means little. It begs and begs every morning to work as a team with me, an author, and until I accept this responsibility, what hope remains? With every passing day, it becomes and more necessary, more and more urgent, because I begin to realize that I’m not the only one who craves adventure. I have been gifted with an out-of-bounds imagination and the ability to pen my thoughts, to transfer them from theoretical code to a concrete structure. This skill, both a blessing and a curse, obligates me to write not only for myself, but for the masses who have the same needs as I.

A great responsibility sits on my shoulders, perched as it watches—impatient, waiting. The adventure itself is an escape, but it’s the weight of the obligation that keeps me grounded and balanced.

My mind is my strategy, my laptop my weapon as I brave the battlefield and set sail into the universe that’s been calling my name for much too long.