Two sayings have hit me today: Opportunity passes most people by because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. and Bear in mind that a creative business has one requirement that is unique. Joy is not optional. It’s at the heart of what we do. The first is an old saying, the second was blogged by Lee Wolfe on Etsy's blog. The thing is, they're both true, and this is an oxymoron I've struggled with a lot. Unlike many people, I didn't go into writing because it was "so much fun". I went into it because it was hard, because I could spend my whole life getting better and still have the mountain of potential accomplishment towering over me (yes, this would be true in most any field, I know I'm not *that* brilliant, but it was more noticeable in the arts). Learning how essential it is to enjoy the work has been an eye opener, but the stories I enjoy writing are the ones that sell, for two reasons. First, and yes, this belongs first, because I love them and I don't give up on them. My favorite novel that I've written is one I will keep submitting no matter how many rejection letters pile up. It will be published, I just need to find where. Secondly, these pieces do a better job of inspiring people to read them.
But if anyone had told me when I was a kid that I'd spend so much of my life working so hard to have fun, I don't think I would have even understood what that meant. As it is, I'm still learning.