Why You Should Always, Always Do What You Love

Find strength in what sets you apart.

Why You Should Always, Always Do What You Love

Nothing really worth having is easy to attain. But that's where serendipity comes in – because sometimes, the best things in our lives fall into our laps when we're not even looking for them. Sometimes, these things happen when we're nowhere even close to expecting them.

If you're doing what you love in life, you should consider yourself one of the lucky ones. And if you're not – here's why you should be.

What they don't tell you about finding and doing what you love is that it can be really f*cking hard. Sometimes you will doubt yourself along the way. (But that part won't actually matter unless you let it get in your way.)

You won't always get the recognition that you're looking for. Maybe your boss won't recognize you. Maybe your friends won't recognize you. Sometimes, you won't even recognize you.

But again, getting some form of recognition won't matter when you finally hit your stride in doing what's important to you; and neither will the dogged sense of self-doubt.

My dear, find what you love, and let it kill you.

–Charles Bukowski

As for me, I have been trying to get my poems and stories published for over a year, with no luck. And I won't lie, it's definitely disappointing sometimes. But I don't let that stop me from writing, even when I know that no one's reading – because I know that one day the perfect opportunity will come my way.

In efforts to further improve my creative writing skills, I took an online writing class with one of my all-time favorite writers this summer. (In case you're curious, the class was with Francesca Lia Block, she of the magnificent lyrical prose and Dangerous Angels fame.)

And I learned so much – more than I can possibly sum up here, but I'll tell you that I think the most important thing I took away was about more than style. It was about the single-minded effort it takes to find success – the drive to keep writing, to keep trying, to constantly strive for improvement and growth.

I won't even deny that I myself am one of the lucky ones, because I most definitely am. I am so lucky that I'm able to create for a living. I'm lucky to have a job where I can write articles such as these and reveal my innermost feelings on the Internet as an actual full-time position, instead of just as a hobby.

But I'd also be lying if I said I didn't want more.

I'd be lying if I said that to me, a blinking cursor on a blank page isn't both beloved friend and hated enemy.

After all, it all depends on your mindset. Are you waiting to feel ready for whatever it is you want to take on? (Am I?) Are you testing the waters, or are you preparing yourself to dive in?

It's important to realize that if you waited until you felt you were completely "ready," it might never happen. There's no in-between in life; not really. There's no "aha" moment. You either take the plunge, or you don't.

And yes, sometimes you'll be denied. Sometimes you'll be rejected. Sometimes you'll be told a flat-out "No," and you'll be pulling your hair out wanting to know the reasons behind it. (Trust me, you probably don't really want to know.) Unfortunately, you won't always get that closure.

But wouldn't the constant cycle of waiting and wondering and regretting be infinitely worse?

What happens when that dreaded rejection comes, anyway? You pick yourself back up, and keep going. You just keep trudging on. Because that's the only way you'll learn; that's the only way you'll discover what's worth it to you to continue doing – to keep striving for.

Focus on what really matters to you, and ultimately, anything less will fall away.