Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Am I a Workaholic? Are You?

I've always worked at jobs I enjoyed because, when I quit enjoying them, I quit. Period. No more job.

I enjoyed working in the insurance industry and I enjoy writing. I especially enjoy writing. In fact, it's safe to say I LOVE writing and all it entails. It doesn't feel like work. Not that selling insurance, or consulting, or being an insurance education provider was harder than it was enjoyable, but I always knew I was working--even when it was fun.

Writing. That's a different story. There's nothing I don't like about writing. In fact, as I cracked the whip [on myself] Friday to come up with a schedule, I had a blast. Sure, I've done a little goofing off in the six weeks since I sold my insurance agency.  You know, I stopped what I was doing (several times a day) to play with the kitties and puppies or to converse with Pete the parrot about stuff that was a bit too intellectual for the felines and canines. Or I spent an hour on the phone with one of my friends or one of my kids. Or I played Solitaire on the computer. Oh, and I have completed three freelance projects during these six weeks.

When I buckled under and attacked my new schedule, it took me about an hour to decide whether I wanted to do my freelance contract (work) writing in the morning or the afternoon. And whether I'd schedule this many, or that many, hours for work on my WIP (a romantic suspense). Oh, and where I'd fit in the daily time to work on my outline/proposal for the 2nd book in the Taking the Mystery Out series.

It wasn't until Saturday, when I actually began following the schedule, that I realized it entailed 7 (yes, seven) days. No days off. Yes, I'd allowed myself two blocks of personal time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day, but still...  I think I need to re-evaluate.

I worked 10 and 12 hour days when I owned my insurance agency. Now that I'm not spending 40+ hours a week doing that, and I'm having fun writing, why am I still scheduling 60+ hours of non-personal time into my week? Sure, it's writing. So why doesn't it feel like work?

My daughter thinks the answer is simple: Workaholism. I don't think I'm addicted to work. Yes, maybe I feel compelled to be doing stuff, but I'm always doing stuff I enjoy. And I take time off. See the coyote in the picture my husband took? I spent at least 11 minutes on Sunday watching him trek across the back yard, looking over his shoulder, and then watching his pursuer (maybe a lovelorn female ... the second coyote was a bit smaller than our handsome hero, above) when he/she arrived on the scene 2 minutes later.

Because I take breaks from my writing to eat, watch wildlife, talk on the phone, play with the critters, walk outside with the puppies, that means I'm not a workaholic. Right?

Wrong? You're saying I'm wrong? Okay. I'll consider you might be right. But only if you give me a good reason ... or six.


  1. I'm pretty sure I suffer from the same disease. ;) Beautiful Coyote!

  2. Hmmm. So, what wildlife do you peruse during your workaholic stints? (Other than Frank or Vinny, if you're the Danielle I think you are!)

  3. I peruse the many squirrels that enter my yard to taunt Frank and Vinny. lol!

  4. Not as exciting or amazing at the wolf, deer, moose, and bear that enter your yard!

  5. Hey, you should take your excitement where and how you find it.