If you commit yourself to any serious vocation, and are lucky enough to get to do it your whole life, you're going to need to periodically re-discover, or re-invent, your reasons for doing it. You lure yourself into any difficult undertaking when you're young with certain useful hubristic delusions, but when those dreams fall through—or, worse, come true—you need to find new, truer motivations for doing it.
Tim Kreider is the author of five books, including the essay collections, "We Learn Nothing" and "I Wrote This Book Because I Love You." He's contributed to the New York Times, The Atlantic, medium.com, and many other publications. His cartoon, "The Pain—When Will It End?" ran for 12 years. He taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College for four years and would like to again.