Take One for the Feels

After three months of relentless work on the things that keep the lights on, I could feel myself getting antsy. Frustration builds up when I can’t (or don’t) write, but even if I do, there’s still a special kind of dread that sets in if I don’t — at least every now and then — write something that feels challenging or extra meaningful.

On most days, it’s possible to find the divine in the mundane, but if you reject the muse too many times, she’ll start poking you until it hurts. This week, I felt the sting enough to “take one for the feels.” Was it good for my business that I spent four hours unapologetically writing on a piece that’s been in the works for two years yet probably won’t make a dime? Most likely not. But did it feel extremely good? You bet.

Sometimes, the right sacrifice is to stop sacrificing, if only for a little while. Treating yourself applies to work as much as ice cream. Why not spend a Thursday afternoon on a pet project that might go nowhere? How about making the slides extra pretty, just because you can?

Usually, indulging in the parts of the work that we enjoy the most does nothing but make us feel good — and that’s already plenty. If you can tackle a boring task with more rigor, vigor, or detachment after completing a fun one, the latter still pays its dividends.

Sometimes, however, the things we choose to do because we can, not because we must, will open the most important doors. Perhaps your design skills get you noticed by someone who has a better role for you in mind. Maybe that video you edited for fun will blow up and turn into a whole new career.

Will “Fiction Friday” be the thing that gets me a book deal for a novel? Doubtful. But it makes me look forward to the end of the week, and the next one, and the next one. When you don’t “feel it” anymore, try taking one for the feels — it won’t solve all your problems, but it might keep you on an important track until you’re back in calmer waters.