I love this interview in The Atlantic with Ava DuVernay. It’s a great read for a ton of reasons, including this:
If there’s anything my path can help people understand, it’s that you can have joy in the work, as opposed to, “I need an agent, I want to walk the carpets, I want the magazines, I want to be Issa Rae, I want to be Donald Glover, I want to be Ava.” None of that [success] happened to them because they wanted to be anyone else. It all happened because we were focused and enjoyed the process. It doesn’t work for everyone. But let’s say no one ever wants to see anything you made, sang, painted, wrote, directed. If no one wanted to eat the food you made, but you had an amazing time in the kitchen making it, you loved it, you were tasting your own sauce, and you were chopping up the onions, and you got the chop down just right, and you enjoyed the meal … wasn’t it worth it? I just see so many people on the grind for the wrong thing. Don’t be on the grind for the fame. That’s fleeting; who cares. Be on the grind for the joy.
Writing is a business, with ups and downs. When we’re working hard to get published–and to stay published–actually enjoying the writing can be a really hard thing to remember.