“Find a job you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Whoever coined this phrase clearly wasn’t a writer. Don’t try to defend them. You know it’s true.
I take issue with the idea that any kind of creative expression can’t count as or does not feel like work. I don’t fully understand where the assumption of this truth comes from. When I sit down to write a blog post, I treat it very much like I would treat any other writing assignment. I put it in my planner. I make it an appointment. And I cross the task off my list when it’s done.
Why do I do this? Because as much as I love writing blog posts, if I do not treat them like work, I will not write them. If it’s not included in my daily list of tasks, I will simply choose other tasks over a theoretical blog post because, honestly, I have a lot to do, and not an unlimited amount of time in which to do it.
Sometimes, even for me, there are points throughout my writing schedule where I really, really struggle. Even when it’s on that to-do list. Even when it’s on my calendar like any other meeting or appointment. Even when it’s something I’m often glad to have done when I’ve finished it.
Why? Because, as a writer, there are some parts of being a writer I don’t enjoy. And that’s OK.
I’m not great at talking about my accomplishments outside of the realm of “showcasing to someone else how success can happen for them.” So, outside of this blog, really. I don’t love emailing potential clients and writing a paragraph or two talking about what makes me a stellar writing candidate. It doesn’t feel good to me. I do it, because you have to if you want to land opportunities and get money/recognition. I don’t like it. But I do it.
As a writer, you might love writing novels but hate writing what we’ll call “sales copy” for your novels. You might love writing blog posts, but struggle to write fictional short stories. You might enjoy writing articles about self-help and productivity, but when it comes to reaching out to people about your work, you almost forget why you even call yourself a writer in the first place.
But guess what? Not liking a part of “being a writer” does not mean you’re not meant to be a writer or that you’re bad at your current job or future career. Not being good at a certain thing within what’s expected of you, or the fact that it doesn’t come as easily to you as other things seem to, is NORMAL.
NO ONE can be good at, or enjoy, everything. Even if you someday land your dream job and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted to do all day every day, there are still going to be small things you have to do that you don’t want to, or aren’t good at.
Writers are kind of expected to do it all, which creates the false notion that we have to love it all and be good at it all. That’s simply not the case.
Capitalize on your strengths when and where you can, yes. Enjoy the stuffing out of the parts of your writing hobby or career you adore. But also realize that you’re going to come across things here and there that are going to try to suffocate your passion for what you do.
Don’t let them.
Keep writing anyway.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.