I've been thinking about what you said, and here's something that expresses what I think you've been feeling:
For me, as for many women, work means necessary income. For a writer, work is also emotional and intellectual survival: it is who I am. I don't stop working, and reworking, and publishing fiction.
---Louise Erdich
The Blue Jays Dance
That's how it feels to me. Does it ring true for you, too?