I'm reflecting on last summer when I was at a crossroads with my book. The manuscript was clean and good, but it hadn't reached its shine yet. You don't really know this as a writer, especially if you've spent countless hours working on the poor thing. There comes a point when you just can't see.
But through it all I can tell you one thing: I loved my book. When it was bad, when it got better, when it was rejected, and when it was accepted. I didn't love the process, but I loved my book. That love is what drove me to read countless articles on the act of writing and publishing so that I might get what I had to a finish line, because the essence of the book was a wonderful thing and I knew it.
I love the act of writing. I'm a musician and I love to write and play and listen to music (boy do I ever love listening to music!), but writing—and fiction mostly—gives me peace. I hate having an idle mind. I can't. So, while I'm not doing music, writing is that existential existence where words like fire ants rush and claw through my synaptic gaps. I get a thrill with words. They play, they trick, they lead and flow. This week in particular I'm half crazy with music and words, words and music. That doesn't mean anything good is coming from my fingertips, but it keeps me energized.
The point is: love what you do, and love the product you create. You don't have to love the road you're walking on, but the reason your feet are moving down that road. Or learn to fly. Or swim.