When I work for two four-hour blocks, and giveth my sweat, I feel I have earned a beer in the evening.
Now, I prefer what Marx called "intellectual labor." Why? Because after not being able to remember how long I've been working, and then saying, "Well, I might as well keep writing/reading/dreaming," I think not of some material reward, but of the beautiful Feeling of Art.
Oh, to run with Henry James and Nathaniel Hawthorne again!
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.