When Work Doesn’t Feel Like Work by Katy Lee

Happy New Year! I have just returned from a writing retreat in the mountains, but technically I didn’t step outside, except to buy chocolate, that is. I spent my days glued to my laptop, and honestly, I have never had so much fun working.

Because Suze already told you about the benefits of a writing retreat, I will just second everything she said. See Suze’s post here. BUT I will add one more thing to her list that I came away with this week.

Find a way to do what you love.

Now I’m not saying that means work will be easy for you. It’s called work for a reason and anything worth doing will be hard. It’s going to need a strong will and a strong desire in your heart to complete it. But that’s where the love comes in. If you love it, you’ll do it, and you’ll do it well, and you won’t mind the work. In fact, the harder it is, the sweeter the victory will be when you accomplish what you set out to do.

This week as I sat for long hours from sun up to sun down behind my computer, typing out difficult scenes and plot twists and pulling on my hair when the story and characters took over, I did it all with a smile. I could literally feel my cheeks hurting because I was loving my job so much.

Now if you honestly can’t find that desire in your heart for your work, then perhaps a little search for it will help. Holding onto tasks that you have always done just because you’ve always done them isn’t always a good thing–for anyone. You’re not happy, and the people you’re working for know something is lacking. And perhaps there is someone out there who does have a heart for the work you drudge through. By stepping back to find the work you love, you allow them to step up and find what they love to do, too.

And then everyone’s cheeks will be hurting.

The Unlocked Secret: The secret here is not to find what you love to do. That’s no secret. We all know that. The secret is to learn a way to make a living from doing what you love. Like I said before. It’s going to be work. Hard work right from the beginning. But it all starts with your willingness and openess to learn. And the chocolate does help.

Question: Tell me…what do you love to do??? Have you found a way to make a living doing it? What’s stopping you?




8 thoughts on “When Work Doesn’t Feel Like Work by Katy Lee”

  1. Hi Katy. Happy New Year to you as well. I believe when you are doing what it is you love to do, it is no longer a job … it’s a career. But as you so aptly put it, the trick is getting that “career” going strong enough to pay the mortgage. I have to then remind myself of that crazy old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer being, “One bite at a time.” I think we are working toward the good paying career. Bon Appetit.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Katy. I’ve always held to that credo myself, often telling my children, “Find something you love to do, get really good at, and find a way to make money at it and you’ll be happy. If you can also find a way to have your chosen path serve the greater good of all, you’ll also find peace of mind.” I’m fortunate to have several “passions” in my life that also earn me a paycheck and give me great satisfaction.

    I’m still debating as to whether the writing life is for me. I’m a stubborn and goal oriented person, so once I make a commitment to something, I’m all in until I’ve met my goal, accomplished my task, or mastered a skill. Writing has always been an enjoyable “hobby” for me, but now that I have looming deadlines and a marketing plan to be considered, it’s much less like fun and more like another job. I still have moments when I get super excited about a great passage or an unexpected twist comes along in my WIP, but I’m afraid I haven’t experienced the “smile fatigue” factor in a long time. It seems to be overshadowed by the pressures of the endless to-do list.

    Publishing is a game of highs and lows with an occasional respite of calm somewhere in the middle. I’m working on gaining an even keel this year and settling into a more balanced and healthy approach to all of it. Maybe I’m in need of a retreat, too;-)

    1. This makes me sad to hear, PJ. I can remember your husband saying he had never seen you so happy as your were when you were writing. I’m going to go out a limb here and say, and I’m sure you can agree, that you are more than a writer. You have quite a long list of titles to your name and with that a lot of responsibility. Maybe start delegating????

  3. Happy New Year, Katy! And what a wonderful way you’ve chosen to launch your new year. I feel very blessed to be making a career of writing. Although some days the words just don’t seem to want to come for love or money. LOL! It sounds like you’re really enjoying diving into that new book. 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I do know what you mean. Writing is not easy. And some days are discouraging. But I think for the discouraging part comes when I have other responsibilties that are extensions of being a writer, like marketing. I am NOT a markerter and it’s when I have to give my little extra time to these things instead of writing that I get discouraged and even mad when I see my marketing doesn’t make a difference. Then I may doubt my ability as a writer because sales are down and such. Which then may lead to not being able to write because I second guess my writing. I really doubt Hemingway and Harper Lee ever had this problem. They could just write.

  4. Katy, there is a kink in my time bank. Sunday came and went, but I found you and your wonderful post today. For me, interior design was a love, and in those early days, long ago, it was called decorating. I went to school, and watched the title become Interior Design. I studied it, architecture and architecture & design criticism and smiled through my career the whole forty years. So many fantastic, magical, amazing things came from it, people, publishing, teaching, showcases, expertise across the board, and more than I can write on this blog post. I am still growing and glowing from the experiences. How many places I have been and how many have I met b/c of a grand career. My writing has been born from it. The journey has been delightful, fulfilling and rewarding.

    1. All lovely! Including the fact that you understand the need for learning about your craft. Yes, a portion of it is talent, but that will only get you so far. Gail, you have seen some beautiful places and it is always a joy to see the world through your eyes. Thank you, my friend!

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