Workshop, Playshop, Passion

More and more artists aren’t teaching “workshops” anymore, they are teaching “playshops,” because work is so odious that we don’t want to be involved with it in our free time.

I love play. It feels freeing and effortless. I also love work. Work results in some sort of good, or change, or results, often interesting or at least useful. Calling a day of learning “play” instead of “work” seems to diminish both terms.

“Set a table in your garden,” Quinn McDonald © 2012, watercolor pencils on paper, collage.

Work is honorable and doesn’t have to mean suffering. Work indicates that the results are not gained in a way that is fast, fun, or free. Work is best done deliberately, with full concentration and effort. It requires an investment of energy and time. That’s what makes it satisfying.

We often say our work is our passion. And while we think of passion as unchecked emotion, the Latin root word of passion is pati, which means suffering.

Sometimes work is hard, sometimes it causes us to suffer. But that doesn’t make it bad. Some of the hardest times of life finish up with some of the best learning, best results, and best ideas. Hard work, both physical and mental, can feel painful while it feels like growth.

So I’m going to continue teaching workshops. Where people show courage by working intuitively, writing deeply, and speaking their truth. We’ll also laugh and be astonished at the results, because hard work feels good.

-Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who loves her work.