I’m a little late to the game here but I was very impressed with some serious and important history. It was a tough childhood and you have a lot of play to make up. Diligence requires committed action.
I grew up with it to although in a successful farm family. There is always the ugliness of the Puritan mentality but it could also be mitigated in the farming life that is also the, forgotten, foundation piece of American culture. My father and mother enjoyed being farmers. She drove a tractor, too. Yes, lots of very hard work but, while I had no desire to be a farmer, I was around people who liked what they did with the challenges and diverse skills needed in raising crops and animals.
Your piece and the responses made me think about this and why I’ve always managed to combine both occupation and avocation. Writing is fun, though hard, even when your writing memos, reports, or project plans. Now I write an amazing amount for Medium and some others. I’m feeling a little guilty because I have time to do that plus enjoy what I get paid for. And I write for that, too.
So, yes, you can write for pleasure. You just have to work at it.