Whenever I find a quote that stops me in my tracks and makes me think, I post it on a sticky note by my computer. Every few months, I take a few down and put up some new ones.

I found one recently that I’ve been alternately reading and ignoring. Frankly, I’m not quite sure what to do with it. Here’s what it says:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Rev. Howard Thurman (1900-1981)

Part of me loves the quote. And part of me doesn’t like it.

Here’s why: I’m a writer and I believe writing is one of the gifts the Great Creator entrusted to me. I love hanging out with writers, I love coming up with story ideas, I love encouraging others through my words. I love the flexibility of working anywhere and the wonder of making up stories out of snippets and fragments and unrelated conversations.

But I don’t love to write. It took me a while to be able to admit that. I love “having written.”

My two favorite parts of any writing project are 1) when I come up with the idea, and 2) that wonderful moment when I write “the end.”

The actual writing process is hard work, pure and simple. It’s messy and disorganized and I wish there was a way to get from idea to finished book without actually having to write it.

Yet I keep putting one word after another because, well, I’m a writer. And somehow, the joy outweighs the frustration and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.

So I think I’m chasing the right dream after all. If even roses have their thorns, why would I think my dream should be all sweetness and light?

What do you think? Does whatever dream you’re chasing make you come alive? If it doesn’t, how do you handle that?