I hope you’ve all had a gander at Monday’s EPIC INTERROGATION with Laura Simms, creative coach and artistic inspiration mistress. Laura has a lot of great tips for anyone interested in getting into coaching and consulting with our kind of people (those are creatively awesome people, by the way).
When I asked her if she was a workaholic, Laura had this to say:
No. I think that word gets bandied around a lot amongst online business people without much regard for what it really means. Do I work a lot? Yeah. Do I enjoy it? Almost all of it. Do I sacrifice other activities in order to work? Yes. Is my allegiance to my work detrimental to my health and relationships? No. I’m not a workaholic.
Laura’s comment about not being a Workaholic inspired today’s post. First, let’s do a little semantics on the word “Workaholic”.
The word consists of a root – work (defined in the noun as “Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result”), with the -holic suffix. When applied to words, -holic ususally denotes a negative condition, a person having an abnormal desire or dependence on something – an addiction, usually. Holic denotes an inability to stop oneself from indulging in their chosen vice.
A workaholic, therefore, is a person who is addicted to work. In Japan, “workaholicism”, or karōshi is a serious social problem that has resulted in many people literally dying on the job. Many scholars believe workaholicism is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder – a need to be busy all the time, even though workaholics frequently procrastinate and are often ineffective workers.
Yes, for real.
I do use the word workaholic, becuase it’s a commonly understood word, but, like Laura, I don’t really like it. I don’t think it adaquetly describes the way I feel about what I do. I’m certainly not an ineffective worker, and I’m not about to die on the job.
In two months, my husband and I are leaving NZ for a month long adventure through Germany. This is paid for largely through business brought in from my writing. Germany is our favorite country in the world and we’re looking forward to seeing even more of it, catching some of our favorite bands, and attending Wacken Open Air, the Greatest Metal Party on Earth, for a second time.
We’re away for four weeks, and for large amounts of that time, I am working. I am covering gigs and writing blogs and handing out cards and making contacts and meeting up with people. Is this insane? This is meant to be a vacation.
But to me, this is awesome. These things make it even more exciting, even more enjoyable. I don’t want to just flit from place to place or be but a single cow in a herd of cattle shifted from attraction to attraction by a tour company. I need some purpose, something extra to work towards. I need higher stakes.
Yes, there are going to be a couple of days reading books in the courtyard of a Bavarian castle, but mostly, I’ll be “working”.
A lot of people can’t see the sense in this. Most people would consider this workaholic behavior. Granted, most people would recoil at the idea of taking work on holiday with them.
But I’d do this anyway. Even if I didn’t earn a single cent, I’d still blog. I’d still want to write up my adventures. I’d still review albums and shows.
If I’d do this stuff anyway, it might as well be how I earn my living.
It takes a certain type of person, but you know if you’re that type or not. If you’d take your knitting on holiday, then maybe you should consider starting a knitting business. (don’t think you can make money from knitting? We should talk). If you’re sketching scenes from the tour bus window in your notebook, then maybe you should be looking into an art business. If you’re already doing it, while you’re meant to be on holiday, it might as well be what you’re doing full-time.
That’s not being a workaholic. That’s just being sensible.
Don’t miss all the fun! Sign up to receive blog updates by RSS or Email, and while you’re in a signing-up mood, don’t forget the Grymm & Epic Gazette – you’ll get my FREE ebook “Unleash the Beast: Release Your Inner Creative Monster”, as well as a weekly dose of creative inspiration. Grymm!