8th October 17

In recent years, I seem to have gone through a drastic transition from being very much against doing any work that wasn’t 100% required of me, to being a fire-breathing workaholic. The change in my nature has been pretty drastic to say the least. I was one of those school kids who came home, kicked back on the sofa and didn’t move from 4pm-10pm. Homework was done at the last possible minute. Revision wasn’t really my thing. I wouldn’t say that I was lazy, I just hated spending my time doing things that I felt were required of me. Fast forward a few years and something has changed. You’re now more likely to find me working on projects than sat watching TV. And if I am watching TV, I’m usually anxious about all of the work that I’m not currently doing. From my tendency to have the odd nervous breakdown and my desperate need to please, a new version of me has been born. The anxious workaholic.


I love writing. So much so that it rarely feels like work to me anymore. It feels like something to do when I get home from my job, or when I have a free moment in the day. I think that the secret that a lot of workaholics like to keep is that work doesn’t feel like work to them at all. That’s how they keeping going with it. Through a desire to do what they love, rather than a desire to make money. Good content is always fuelled by passion. That’s the way I’ve always seen it.


Creating content is fun and it bodes well for me that my main interest is one which I can actually consider as ‘work’. However, it is also quite an anxiety inducing interest for me. And this is where things can get a little difficult. Recently I’ve noticed that I possess two traits which like to argue in my head and go against each other.


Workaholic: my desire to create and put interesting ideas into the world.


Anxiety: my desire to curl up in bed and shy away from the world.


As you can image, my head is a weird old mix when both of these traits decide to show themselves at the same time.


Anxiety can make you feel like the things that you’re creating are B A D. Like there’s no point in even publishing them, because nobody wants to read your mediocre ideas, and just seeing you advertising them on social media is going to make people roll their eyes. Anxiety can pin down the workaholic part of you and make you want to shy away from it. It tells you things like ‘wouldn’t you rather just sit in bed all day, looking at your phone and watching the minutes creep by? Wouldn’t that be fun?’.


And sometimes, anxiety wins. Sometimes I will go a whole day without creating anything, even if I want to. Even if my brain is itching to get work done. Sometimes it wins and then tries to hit you while you’re down, making you feel even more anxious of the fact that you’ve not done anything productive all day. Being an anxious workaholic is a vicious circle, because it stops you from ever feeling like you’ve done enough.


My brain is a messy old place, but I guess in a way it keeps my on my toes. Since naming myself as an anxious workaholic, I’m finally starting to work out how my brain works and I’m learning to treat it a little better. Of course, I have the days where anxiety wins and work just doesn’t take place. But all creatives have a flaw, don’t they? All of the wildest ideas come from brains which are full of storms. And in the moments of clarity between those storms, the sun shines on inspiration.