Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Workaholic vs Passionaholic

On my near daily 3+ mile walk this morning, my actor/friend Jarrod Turpin and I were discussing workaholism.

I've been "accused" of being a workaholic, a reputation I've fostered for the industry so they'll see me as a completely dedicated crazy artist -- which is good.

But if others are concerned that they shouldn't approach me because they believe it gets in the way of my personal life? Um, no I really don't consider myself a workaholic.

Since I work for myself, I keep the hours I wish or need to - some days longer, some shorter - and try to keep them in the general arena of "office hours." Although I do work later Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays because I have some folks to coach then, other evenings are free to hang out.

Occasionally I work on the weekend, but it's not a regular thing.

I write daily because I can't *not* write. I enjoy it and I get a little nuts if I don't. Besides, I'm a writer, right? Take away all the stuff they try to pile on the craft's definition and the simple fact remains: writers write. How much I write depends on what else is going on in my life. Generally it's a minimum of two hours a day. That can shoot up to 16 if I have no other plans.

But if I have plans with friends, an invitation to a screening or other opportunities to hang out with people I love or care about? I restict my writing hours. I make time daily for my wee pet family and the humans in my life!

It's no accident this blog follows on the heels of the one about "priorities." My priorities are very pets-home-friends-family oriented.

So as Jarrod and I made our way up the first monster hill of the walk, he said, "It sounds like you are not a workaholic -- but a passionaholic. You're 'addicted' to your passion, but not in a way that makes you do senseless repetitive tasks that in the end don't amount to much of anything - or at least isn't important in the grand scheme of things.

"You're not a slave to it. You enjoy it and it does not create problems in your life. It's constructive, not destructive. You don't need a 'fix' to keep you going; it doesn't drag you down, it lifts you up. You create things, things that make a difference."

Addicts indulge in behavior or chemicals or mind meddling in order to avoid feeling. To avoid the reality of who they are and to avoid making any changes in themselves. I indulge in my passion to discover daily who I am, how I feel, welcoming changes that would enhance my life or work and to learn more about other people.

I'm as passionate about my relationships as I am my work, so although there should be a different suffix to the word than "aholic," it's the only one that seems to exist at this point in our vernacular.

A passionaholic.

I should have a business card that, instead of listing all the jobs I do, just says, "CP - passionaholic."

Thanks, Jarrod!


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