I haven’t done much writing over the last week or so. My “real” job – the one that pays the bills – has blown up and I’ve been burning the midnight oil on website projects. In case you’re not aware, I was a web developer in a past life and am doing dev projects part time while writing part time. Whee.
Except the web dev hasn’t been part time lately. It’s been super-mega-full-time. And then some.
First off, I’m not complaining (I was going to say I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. But I’m not sure if that saying means what I think it means – “Inconceivable!”). I’m very grateful for the opportunity to make money sitting at home at my computer. The company is great and has been very flexible with me. And there’s something satisfying in figuring out random logic issues.
However, I’ve noticed something over the past week.
To start, let’s look at my typical weekday:
9:00 – Wake up and hit snooze three times
9:27 – 9:30 – Brush Teeth
9:30 – 2:30 – Develop Websites
3:00 – 4:00 – Workout
4:00 – 6:00 – Die from exhaustion, resuscitate myself with defibrillator paddles, ice, shower, etc…
6:30 – 9:00 – Attend writers group
9:30 – 12:00 – Write (Books, blog posts, sketches, marketing, etc…)
12:00 – 1:00 – Read
1:00 – SLEEPY TIME!
(FUN SIDE NOTE: I recently learned the defibrillator is used ONLY to stabilize an already beating heart. They’re NOT used to revive someone. Sooooo every single medical show and movie, you know, EVER, is doing it wrong.)
Anyway, according to the (completely made-up) chart, my average week consists of about twenty-five hours of web development and twenty-five hours of writing.
The last week or so, that schedule has shifted. All of my writing hours have switched over to development. Suddenly, and without warning, I’ve felt a change in my mentality. By the time I climb into bed, I’m drained. At the same time, I’m filled with a weird sense of restlessness, like I need to get out and do something. It’s like I’m exhausted yet my day was missing…something.
At first, I chalked that mentality up to the long hours until I realized something huge: I’m not working any more hours than I normally do. When that hit, I looked back at the last few years. Those nights I stayed up past midnight writing, I didn’t feel drained or restless. I was rejuvenated and excited! I felt pumped up because I’d created something fulfilling to me.
The moment led me to do that thing where I sit back in my chair and go, “Whoa”.
That’s what it means to do something you love.
Sure, not every minute is hearts and candy canes and Pad Thai. There has been so much frustration and a plethora (good word!) of tears and fears. But the wonderful moments are truly wonderful. And a hard day’s work leaves you feeling satisfied, even invigorated. I think that’s the sign you’ve found something special.
Case in point: I’ve been developing all day. And I was tired and about to go to bed. But I made myself sit down and write this post. And you know what? I feel better already.