The joys of writing — even during tough times

This blog post over at The Renegade Writer blog on the joys of journalism even during tough times got me thinking about the joys of pursuing a writing career (whether it’s journalism or not) no matter what the economy is doing.  Some days, even when nothing is selling, I still can’t quite believe how much fun it is to do the work I do and have the life I have. 

Some of my favorite things about being a writer that hold true even when I’m counting pennies in the change jar to pay for my morning cup of java:

  • The other writers and creative types I meet.   I get inspired and encouraged by other people on the path, a lot of times just by being with them — they don’t have to do anything but be who they are.
  • Getting to know people passionate about their work/avocation.  When I was writing more about martial arts, I visited Milwaukee to give a talk and a group of women martial artists came up and asked me to go to dinner with them afterwards.  I will never forget how wonderful it was to be in a group of strangers and yet feel so at home.  I’ve talked to business consultants, tax experts, daycare owners — all of whom loved what they were doing and made me reflect on how amazing it is that people can cherish so many different kinds of callings.
  • Mastering something that matters to me.  I get absorbed in getting the story right or picking the perfect quote from the interview.  I enjoy rolling my sleeves up and chopping away at the extraneous to get to the core.  I even like those days where I spend the afternoon putting in what I took out in the morning.
  • Finding the story — even when it wasn’t the one I originally thought it was.
  • Working with lots of smart, talented, hard-working people.  Almost everyone I’ve ever met in publishing has been incredibly competent and generous with their time, advice and information. 
  • Work worth doing.

What about you?  What keeps you going during tough times?