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  • Juliette Hyland

Writing is a Job

“Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life…”

This quote gets bandied around a lot. It’s been attributed to Confucius, though it almost certainly wasn’t said by him. It is written in beautiful calligraphy and posted to Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I’m certain it’s on one of my boards. The quote sounds great. However, it’s a load of crap.

Even if you have a job you love, it will seem like work on many days. While I am not getting paid for my craft (yet), I do treat my writing as a job. I attempt to get at least a few hundred words in a day, edit on a timely schedule and plot before I start drafts (spend too much time on Pinterest searching out character names).

I love watching my characters come to life on the paper, but it is hard. Many days are fun. Just as many, though, feel like I am slogging through words to get the draft done, slashing scenes I once thought were great and now see as huge backstory drops (there go 2,000 words!)

Today was one of those days. I spent my morning (and the rest of the day) rewatching The Office, sitting on the porch, doing random chores and watching flash mob YouTube videos. I really wish the last one was a lie to make me sound less productive than I was, but no… I spent the day avoiding the keyboard.

Even this blog post is an attempt to avoid the two work-in-progress novels I have – one of which already has a full manuscript request from Harlequin. I spent the better part of dinner time chastising myself, and I am sure I will go to bed more than a little frustrated.

What does any of this have to do with the quote above?

I think this quote feeds into the lie we’ve been fed. IF you can just get the right job, then you will always feel like you are playing a game. Newsflash that isn’t how jobs work. Some days the muscles burn, the brain hurts, and you just want to flip through Instagram makeup videos.

AND THAT IS OKAY! We all deserve a little grace, even if we get to do the thing that makes us happiest.

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