Okay, But What’s Your Real Job?   Leave a comment

Fairly regularly I am asked, usually after saying, “I’m a writer,” this question – “Okay, but what’s your real job?”

“That is my real job.”

“Oh,” and then the person wanders off to have a conversation that makes more sense to them.

Our culture does not seem to value artistic endeavors as “work.”  Instead, work is what you do to pay bills or something that takes you out of the house or, sadly, something you loathe doing but do anyway to “support your family.”*

Far too infrequently is work something that we love or enjoy or look forward to.  I find that quite sad.

You see, every day I get up and revel.  I get to spend hours writing, reading, talking about writing and reading, and just thoroughly getting giddy over work.  Just because I enjoy what I do, just because I don’t moan about it or talk about how I can’t wait until the weekend or 5 o’clock, just because I don’t live for the time when I”m not working doesn’t mean that what I do isn’t work.

Do I support myself entirely from my work? Not yet, but I will. Do I leave the house (or my pajamas, for that matter) to do my job? Not every day. Do I work hard all day at least five days a week? Absolutely. Do I love every minute of it? No, but I love almost every minute.

So you see, what I do, what a sculptor does, what a cartoonist does, what a composer does, what a fiber artist does, what the photographer does – that’s work. Just because we love it doesn’t make it any less so.

How do you define work? Do you love what you do? Do you consider artistic endeavors work? Why or why not?

If you’d like to see more of my work, please visit my Kickstarter page about the book I am writing.  Thanks.

*Of course, sometimes life requires that we do work we don’t enjoy to provide what we need.  I completely respect and honor that; I just wish it wasn’t something life demanded.


Posted December 9, 2011 by Andi Cumbo-Floyd in Life Lessons

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