Okay, first things first: writing is working.
In fact, writing is A LOT of work. For one, being creative—in any capacity—requires a lot of energy and focus. For two, writing can sometimes feel like an exercise in insanity. After writing, revising, and rewriting the same passages over and over again, you can convince yourself that what you’ve produced is the world’s greatest crap, which you wholeheartedly believe should never be seen and/or smelled by any sentient being.
To cope, you step back and take a break. You go to your . . . other work. Something your friends and relatives might call your “actual work.”
That sentiment alone is demeaning and discouraging. But what’s worse, your “actual work” might involve menial tasks (or repetitive tasks, at the very least) that aren’t nearly as stimulating and/or fulfilling as creating and writing.
Yet, every other Friday, you get paid for that work. While, at the same time, you might not be getting paid for your writing.
So why go back home and continue writing and revising and rewriting the same passages, over and over again, until you feel as if you’ve truly gone insane?
It’s that stupid, cliché answer: you’ve found your passion. You’ve found the work that you love.
Of course, it’d be great to get paid to do the work that you love. But that wouldn’t be why you’re doing the work.
You’re doing the work because you love writing.
Whether you grew to love it, have always loved it, or simply love it today (after hating it yesterday), it doesn’t matter. A love to write is a love to write. It’s as simple as that.
So no matter the frustration, the lack of energy, the lack of time, or the reason—if you find yourself writing, then you’re a writer.
You’re a writer, and you’re working. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.