If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.
What a lovely phrase and a wonderful reminder about the importance of personal satisfaction with a career choice.
And what complete and utter drivel.
The person who came up with that quote was obviously high, and I reserve the right to get squinty-eyed at anyone who dares spout that nonsense at me.
I don’t care how much you love your job or how much personal satisfaction you get from it, there are some days when it’s not only work, you wonder why you thought you wanted to do it in the first place.
I love being a writer. I think it’s beyond cool. I get to write books, and that’s just nifty. Look at all the people with cool jobs – like rock stars and astronauts – who also want to write books. That’s how cool this job is: it the dream job of folks who already have dream jobs.
And it’s also a lot of work. Like any other job, it has its ups and its downs. You’ll win an award on the same day a reviewer rips you apart. You’ll have books that fly off your fingers and books that are the writing equivalent of giving birth to a pineapple. Sometimes every word on the screen feels like a little golden drop of goodness, but there are times when you feel like you’re the biggest hack on the planet. There are days when you want to beat the computer with a hammer and days when you feel like Barbra Cartland, pink boa, bonbons and all.
And I wouldn’t trade any of the days for a job doing anything else.
Yes, I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of my job. I love it and I hope to have a long career – even if that career includes days of shouting obscenities at my computer screen and feeding my hero to the sharks with evil glee. It’s extremely satisfying – but it’s still work. Hard work.
And it only gets harder, because you do love it and so you keep pushing yourself to be better at it. Which is more hard work.
And that’s one of the reasons it’s so satisfying. I think there’s a real sense of accomplishment that comes from hard work. Yeah, it’s nice when things come easy, but it also feels really good to wrestle the bear and win. (And then you stuff and mount the bear on the wall to remind you of that satisfied feeling – and remind you that you did it once and can do it again.)
So I’m going to amend that old platitude: If you love your job, you’ll work every day of your life, and you’ll work harder than you ever thought possible. But at the end of the day, you’ll still love your job.