Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When the Call Comes

By Darvell Hunt

I felt like a fool wearing my pajamas while sitting under the porch at 1 a.m. with a flashlight, playing with our six-week-old puppy; but when the call comes, you must listen.

My kids were away in Idaho celebrating Independence Day activities with their grandparents while my wife and I stayed home to attend the BYU stadium fireworks. With no kids around, our young puppy felt abandoned. Just like an infant child, he gets bored easily if he’s not being entertained. Nobody had played with the puppy all day long and he probably slept much of the day.

By nighttime, he was axious for some activity. So there I was, a grown man, playing with a puppy in the middle of the night, trying to stop him from yapping in the early morning hours. Rather than let him into the backyard and possibly get lost in the darkness, I kept him in the dog run I had built under the deck at our back door.

Sometimes the call of inspiration comes at inconvenient times. Sometimes it comes during the night and wakes you up like a yapping dog. It might come in the shower or in the car. But whenever the call comes, you must listen if you wish to call yourself a writer.

Many of us writers are mediocre at best while we are writing. It’s those fleeting moments of inspiration—those that often come at inconvenient times—that often create the best material for writing and make use look like we know what we are doing.

Take, for example, a yapping dog at 1 a.m. Even something as annoying as this can become interesting source material for writing—as it did for me.

When the call comes, remember to listen. And then write about it.

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