Sunday Snippet: Stephanie Dickison

“Being a writer is a lot like being a chef – each day you get up and try to create something new while maintaining the stuff that you have to crank out every day. They are careers you only pursue because it is something that is inside you – otherwise you would not be able to handle all the hardships and adversities that comes with it. Both sound like dream jobs when you see the final result – the book or the byline, the stuffed chicken breast or the towering dessert. But what you don’t see are the mistakes along the way, the long days and nights, and hands covered in flour and jam.”

Some people may pursue a certain career because they think it can be very lucrative. Other people may find themselves working in a particular job for years on end, mostly because it is relatively easy, convenient or comfortable. And then there’s the old adage that you should do what you love (and the money will follow), but what does that mean?

Doing what you love to do for a living won’t mean that you will love every minute of it. In fact, most of those moments are going to be filled with “hands covered in flour and jam” as you struggle through your daily tasks. You hope to pursue that dream project and achieve that dream goal, but along that increasingly bumpy road, you’re going to face a lot of challenges and you’re going to be tempted to throw in the towel. And then, you get that published book or create that “towering dessert.” All the blood, sweat and tears culminate in one fleeting moment that makes it all worthwhile. And then, you start again.

I came across The 30-Second Commute by Stephanie Dickison as I was meandering through the aisles of the public library last month and instantly identified with the author. We’re completely the same and exactly the opposite.

She too is a freelance writer and she also happens to be Canadian, except she lives in Toronto and I live in Vancouver. She also writes a great deal of product reviews, but I seem to have a heavier focus on gadgets and consumer electronics. She also does restaurant reviews, but they tend to be for other publications rather than for her own blog. But Stephanie also works from home, fights deadlines and faces many of the same creative struggles that I do. And she feels that same sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when she knows her article came out just right.

We really are like chefs. We don’t do it for fame or for fortune. We do it because it is what we were meant to do.