Do I Have To?

The Ten of Cups is about living your best life.

My favorite day of the week is Saturday morning. It’s when I catch up on all my favorite blogs, slowly drink my coffee, and write these posts. It’s brimming with potential.

Sure, there are times I don’t feel like writing. Times it would be easier to just read, or times when I feel pressure to work on something more pressing. But I push all of that out. I shut my drawers. Much like long distance running, even when I don’t want to do it, I am always happy for having done it.

Because writing this blog, doing the things I do, fills me up. I believe it has made me a better person. I know it has led to new opportunities, new income, and new friends. And I am confident that owning your own creativity, pursuing the projects you’re passionate about, will have a similar effect. But I can also appreciate that it’s not automatic. Writing (or making your way through any creative project) is hard work. It’s normal to feel like you don’t have enough time or enough talent or enough expertise to start. Which is why I write about what I write about each week.

But maybe that’s not the issue.

Maybe you’re not feeling called to do creative work right now. Or maybe you’re happy where you are. Maybe you think all this “hustling” is silly. Maybe you’re asking yourself (or me), “do I have to?”

And the answer is, obviously, no. As writer Julian Barnes says:

“It’s easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren’t writers, and very little harm comes to them.”

Life is short. And in the end, you cannot take it with you. The number of words you publish or the number of podcasts you produce will not matter on the cosmic scale. We put a premium on “hustling,” but the true value of creative work is only in the joy it brings you while you’re here.

I do what I do because I enjoy it. And I write each week to encourage you to pursue your passions because I believe that you, too, will enjoy it. But if you enjoy watching Netflix, or putting together puzzles, or hiking, or going to the bar with your friends more—then do those things and don’t feel bad about “not doing enough.” Because “enough” is whatever makes you most happy.* “Enough” is whatever fills you up and brings you joy. And as long as you’re doing “enough,” you’re doing a great job.

Each Monday, I share strategies to help you master your limited time, get started, and build creative habits that stick. Try it. You’ll like it.

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