Writers can be pretty serious people 🙂 but we all need rest and play in our lives as well as creative work. In today's show, Charlie Hoehn shares how play helped him get through anxiety and depression and how to incorporate more play into our lives – even when we are responsible, bill-paying adults.
In the introduction, I talk about my progress on writing How to Write Non-Fiction, the episodic life, why leaning into your love of genre is so important, and why I enjoyed Thor Ragnarok more than No Country for Old Men 🙂
Plus, the new Masterclass with children's author R.L.Stine, Helen Sedwick's Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook, the Creative Law Center, and YouTube.com/thecreativepenn where you can find new short-form videos on craft and business every week (now with over 20,000 subscribers!)
This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Charlie Hoehn is the author of five nonfiction books, including Play It Away: A Workaholic's Cure for Anxiety and Play for a Living. He is a professional speaker and the host of the Author Hour podcast and head of video at Bookinabox.com.
- How to incorporate play into our work
- How authors can learn to play more and be less serious
- The importance of honesty, vulnerability and authenticity in non-fiction
- Marketing tips for non-fiction books
- On the future of work and play
You can find Charlie Hoehn at charliehoehn.com and on Twitter @charliehoehn
Transcript of Interview with Charlie Hoehn
Joanna: Hi, everyone. I'm Joanna Penn from thecreativepenn.com, and today, I'm here with Charlie Hoehn. Hi, Charlie.
Charlie: Yeah. Hey, Joanna. How are you?
Joanna: I'm good. It's great to have you on the show. Just a little introduction.
Charlie is the author of five nonfiction books, including “Play It Away: A Workaholic's Cure for Anxiety,” and “Play for a Living,” which I have right here.
Charlie: Oh, awesome.
Joanna: He is the speaker and the host of the “Author Hour” podcast and head of video at bookinabox.com.
Charlie, just tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing and publishing.
Charlie: I grew up in Colorado. I now live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, my baby daughter, and two dogs that you saw a moment ago. And the reason I got into writing, I think, originally, it was sort of out of desperation.
I struggled to get a job during the recession of 2008. And so, since no employers were hiring, I started offering to work for free for entrepreneurs that I admired, local entrepreneurs, and offered some out of state that I didn't know.
And a few of those also happened to be authors. People like Ramit Sethi, Tucker Max, Tim Ferriss, and I ended up working with them for years.
I came on full-time working with Tim as his sort of right-hand guy and helped him edit “The 4-Hour Body,” and we launched that. I got to really see some of the best in the world in terms of the self-help/business genre, how to make a book in that regard.
For me, the way I got into writing was through that and I was a natural editor. I've never really thought of myself as a writer. Writer, to me, is something I know a lot of people really love to do, people who watch this, but for me, it's kind of like removing a thorn in my mind of something that keeps coming up that I'm like, “I have to get this out. This has to come out.” And so, that's my style of writing. If I don't get it out, then I feel a little crazy.
Joanna: I actually think that's really common. I think it was Joan Didion who said, “If I don't write it down, I don't know what I think about it,” or something like that. So it sounds quite similar.
I have that for nonfiction too. It's like, “Oh, I just have to get this out, even though it might be quite painful.” So, don't worry, I think that's quite normal.
Circling back there on the recession and the impact on Millennial entrepreneurs of the 2008 global financial crisis, and it's not just Millennials. I was laid off in the global financial crisis and started The Creative Penn, my company, then. And it's kind of crazy to believe it's 10 years old now.
Have you seen that amongst your generation of entrepreneurs? Is that those years made such a huge difference?
Charlie: It's an interesting question. And congratulations, by the way, 10 years. That's a big deal. That's awesome.
I don't know. Certainly, with the people I run with and the people I know, they experienced similar circumstances, obviously, and they found themselves in similar paths. So it's easy for me to point to them and say, yes.
It's tough to say because there's a lot of people certainly my age that I know who went a totally different route, whether it was going to take odd jobs in the freelance world, maybe even doing Uber and Lyft driving on the side, all the way to people who just beelined for the finance world, to real estate.
I know people who still live with their parents and haven't made much headway. I can't say. I don't know. It's a good question.
Joanna: I guess the people I meet who are like you, that we're all in a little niche, aren't we, on the internet really. But that's cool.
Let's get into the book because I wanted to talk to you about this word, “play,” which I definitely have an issue with, and we'll come back with it. But then how do you define play? And you mentioned you have a daughter.
What does play mean for a responsible adult who pays the bills and looks after their family?
Charlie: Play, to me, is kind of the human condition. You can deny a human being work and they won't work, but you can't deny human beings play. Otherwise, they develop social, emotional, mental handicaps.
It's essential to our being and there's some sociologists who would rather call us, instead of Homo Sapiens, man the wise, Homo Ludens, man the player, because we play more than any other species.
To me, play is what you repeatedly and voluntarily turn to when no one's judging you, no one's grading you, no one's forcing you to do the activity.
When the adults weren't around, what did you and your friends consistently turn to? And you did it just because. Somebody describes it as it's the stirrer in the drink. It's the thing that you do because it's fun.
Play varies from person to person. Everybody's form of play is different. We all have different types of play that we're consistently drawn to.
But that's play, to me. It's a very human thing. It's a very mammal thing. All mammals do it to learn, to develop safe bonds with each other, to explore their boundaries, and to see what's safe. It's how we interact with the world.
Sleep takes up a third of our day. If we could have evolved to get rid of that, we would have. Definitely. But we need it in order to function.
And the same thing with play. On the surface, you're like, that's not a thing that's helping them survive, but in actuality, it helps us survive and thrive. It is the reason that we're the most successful species on the planet.
Joanna: I was trying to think about my resistance to the word “play,” and I think it's partly…
Charlie: Sounds childish.
Joanna: It sounds childish, but also, when I think of play, like my brother is a snowboarder, he plays capoeira. Well, capoeira is a martial art. They play capoeira, even though it's also his work. He's an instructor.
I think of playing basketball. When I was in my job, one of the pieces of feedback I used to get was, “Joanna is not a team player.”
If you say like, “What do I like doing? What would I do? What do I do for fun?” It's reading, which is kind of, to me, the word “play,” and reading, now you're defining it that way. It fits.
For me, reading is play. Can I have that? Is that okay?
Charlie: Yes. Totally, 100%. I actually challenged my readers a few years back to dedicate a day where they did their form of play. And a few people sent in pictures of them reading books because it's a safe place to get to.
Storytelling is the probably arguably the number one form of play that humans are most drawn to. The people who tell the stories rule the world, so to speak. I think that is absolutely a form of play.
Joanna: Oh, good. I'm glad, because I was that kid who didn't want to do games at school. I just wanted to be in the library. And I think a lot of my listeners are those people and I think that's a bit like…and we didn't want to be out in the playground with the other kids. So I think probably that's the issue. And now that you've said that, I'm feeling a lot better.
Charlie: We're all players and it all just varies. There's no right or wrong.
Joanna: I think that's really important. So now we've established that upfront.
I also have this discussion with my mom about the fact that we're workaholics. We really enjoy our work. So if we really enjoy our work, because partly for me, reading and writing is also part of my job, right?
How can we or how should we incorporate play as part of our work or should it be completely different?
Charlie: I don't think it should be completely different, and I think a part of the reason the work-life balance is a thing is because so many people hate their jobs.
Work is this thing that they have to do, and life is where they get to enjoy themselves and do the things that are play to them or they get to decompress from whatever.
I believe more in work-life integration. There's no separation, it's just all life.
The message with “Play for a Living” is not like, “Hey, let's go out into the woods and create art and live in communes and stuff.”
There's a spirit, there's a philosophy that a lot of our greatest workers embody. A lot of the people who've made the biggest impact in our global economy or a lot of the people who've touched our souls and our hearts, they approach their work through the lens of play. They approach it playfully, and you can bring that spirit.
That's a choice. That's something that all of us know how to do because we did it when we were young. And we just tend to forget because the adult world is very structured and rigid and there are a lot of people who've forgotten themselves who kind of run the show. That's how I think of it.
Joanna: In “Play It Away,” you very much talk about your anxiety. And it's interesting because, of course, when I think of Tim Ferriss, and I've been a fan of Tim for years, and I think I would have first heard of you when you were on his blog or something.
I think of Tim as someone who's talked about anxiety as well, and depression, and even suicidal thoughts in public. And this is a really big thing, I think, people talking about anxiety.
How did you recognize the impact of anxiety on your life and then take that into play?
Charlie: It's a great question. I recognized it when I was basically debilitated by it, when my body was crying out like something's really wrong. I started to recognize it, but I didn't acknowledge it.
I carried it with me for a long time and things got progressively worse. And the reason I got up to that point is I was Tim and I were both in San Francisco, but I was often working remotely in my position because he had other things that he needed to do that required either travel, meeting a lot.
So we had this big event called Opening the Kimono that was coming up. And what happened was, I had hit a point in my role where I had a lot of responsibilities because I earned them, basically.
He left me largely in charge of kind of coordinating all the details to make this event happen. This was a high-end event, with a lot of high achievers and people who are very successful coming to it from all over the world.
I was in my mid-20s and my experience in event planning was throwing keggers in college. I was really overwhelmed and scared that this thing would fall apart.
There's so many details to event planning. Anybody who's planned their own wedding knows that this is a lot of stuff that you didn't anticipate.
So in the weeks before, I secretly ordered Modafinil, which is a drug made, intended, designed for military fighter pilots to keep them awake on multi-day missions, which is now prescribed to people with narcolepsy. It prevents you from going to sleep.
And a lot of people actually abuse this drug now in Silicon Valley and in Wall Street. It keeps you awake for a long period of time.
During the event, for four days, I slept a total of six hours. Proportionately, I think that's one hour of sleep for every 16 I was awake. And, again, we need one hour of sleep for every three that we're awake.
Joanna: I need loads of sleep.
Charlie: Yeah, we all do. I got through the event real well, but I was a disaster after the event and I could feel that I was starting to… parts of my face were twitching, I was so stressed out.
And then I started developing even more intense symptoms of rapid heart rates and experiencing panic attacks, and I had to quit my job with Tim because I was just so fragile.
I spent the next year, year-and-a-half, basically, in that state. And I remember after my first or second panic attack…it's been a while. I can't really even remember the timing of it, but I went and saw my doctor, and she was like, “You are really sleep deprived. You need a few good night's rest.”
She gave me these anti-anxiety drugs that I was really thrilled to have them, but when I went home and started researching them, I was like, “Wow, these seem really risky. Like, high addictive potential.”
I felt the risk heavily outweighed the benefits, so I decided not to take them and just kind of committed to, okay, whatever condition I'm in… I didn't really have a name for it. I didn't even know. I was like, “Oh, yeah, it's anxiety and panic attack.” I was just like, my body is freaking out right now. Whatever I got myself into, I can get myself out, I believe.
I spent the next year-and-a-half or so just trying everything to get out of that state. So you name it, I did it. I can list out all the things, but I'll spare you. I was so frustrated at the end because none of it seemed to be really working.
Things would work for a day or two and then it would go back to normal, and I felt dead inside. And I remember having this conversation with my ex-girlfriend, my girlfriend at the time, and she said, “Charlie, what is wrong with you? You're not the guy that I met all those months ago.”
I remember admitting to her for the first time, “I feel dead inside all the time and I don't know how to fix it.” And she started crying and I remember feeling envious that she was able to cry and I could not.
Life felt like work, like a prison sentence to me. It felt like drudgery, every day. And I never reached the point where I was, like, feeling suicidal or really strongly considering it, but I definitely remember thinking all the time, I just want this to be done. Because if the rest of life feels like this, I don't know if I can make it through, because this is just exhausting to deal with.
Eventually, I just randomly stumbled across, on my friend's bookshelf, a book called “Play” by Stuart Brown. And that book, I read it in one sitting and I had this moment partway through where I just started laughing and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is it.”
It was my aha moment. Literally, in the book, he breaks down what happens to mammals when you deprive them of play. There's been scientific research, studies, where they deprived mammals of play and they developed the exact conditions that I was experiencing.
They developed social handicaps, emotional handicaps, and depression, anxiety, they grow fearful of their environment. All of these symptoms that had exhibited in labs, I was going through. I'd read books on mental health, I'd gone to therapists, but I had never once heard this explanation that you can be play deprived.
There was this quote in the book that said, “The opposite of play isn't work. It's depression.” And it stood out to me as, “Okay, maybe if I start incorporating play back into my life, maybe these symptoms can be alleviated a bit.”
I remember sitting down and going over my play history. So this is something that every person ought to do if they feel this way, is write down those things that you repeatedly and voluntarily turned to when you were a kid, when you and your friends weren't being judged or graded or forced to do something, and see what calls out to you.
How often are you doing those things? When was the last time you did them?
For me, it was stuff like playing catch. I played baseball, Home Run Derby, building things with my hands, making funny sketches with my friends on film. It was a handful of things like that and I started to think, “Okay, if I can sort of incorporate this into my schedule, maybe this will work.”
And the next day, somebody e-mailed me, and they said, “Do you want to get together for coffee?” And I said, “Why don't we go play catch at the park instead?”
And after that catch meeting, it was like I felt it. I felt okay, there was a difference there. When I came back to work, it felt like a weight had been lifted. I had a different energy. And so, I was like, “All right, I'll double down.”
I signed up for Improv. My friend and I started playing Home Run Derby every weekend. I had, on average, three to four hours of play that I was incorporating into my life every week, and within a month, all my symptoms of anxiety were gone.
I just didn't feel it. I remember waking up one day and not even realizing that… It wasn't like this grand moment of, “Oh, my anxiety is gone.” It was just like, “Wait a second. Something's different. Oh, yeah, I used to feel terrible.” I just didn't.
And I remember there were so many moments during that month where it just clicked that I was acting differently. I remember being at the grocery store, and before that, I was kind of very robotic going through, getting my groceries, barely interacting with the cashier, and moving on. And I remember she asked for my credit card, and I kind of held it out, and she reached to grab it, and I just pulled it away.
We had just kind of a little mischievous interaction and I remember saying like, “Gosh, I haven't done that in years because I just got so serious.” I got so serious about work, I got so serious about life, I got so serious about success, and I was miserable because of it, and play fixed it.
Joanna: Wow. That's a great story and really powerful. Especially us taking ourselves so seriously. You interview a lot of authors, you work with a lot of authors at Book In A Box, and you talk to them on “Author Hour.” And I do think that authors take themselves really seriously.
Charlie: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Joanna: What are some of your tips? I mean, because, again, you see books that work, books that don't work, books that might change people's lives, and books which really don't. You've probably seen all of these variations.
What are some of your tips for authors particularly to stop taking yourself so seriously?
Charlie: Oh, this is so good. Where do I start?
One of the things that I actually do on the “Author Hour” podcast, before we start recording, I use it as a little sample of what's to come. I ask them questions that get them out of the space of “You need to answer this perfectly.”
So I ask, “If your book had a soundtrack, what song would be playing while I'm reading it? If your book had to be coupled with a meal or a drink, what would it be coupled with? And what is the perfect setting that I'm having this meal, I'm listening to this song, I'm reading your book? Describe it.” And so, it forces them to get into this creative mode.
What's interesting is I've had a number of authors, and this is just warm up, I tell them, “These are not going to be used. There's no right or wrong answer.”
They freak out when these questions come because they're like, “I'm not good at this. I'm not good at this.”
You have a lot of fiction writers that follow you, right? Yeah, so they're comfortable in this realm of imagination, I'd take it, but for the nonfiction writers, I think that is a muscle that can really atrophy over time, especially if you work in industries or companies where you're not being rewarded for being creative and imaginative, but for doing a job.
In terms of tips, I really think, even with people with anxiety and depression, I really think every single person would benefit from doing one Improv class, just a few hours of your life. And so many people have resistance to this.
They think they have to be witty, they think they have to come up with clever things. It's just them on stage with one other person making stuff up. It's not like that at all, especially for the first several classes. It's just group games and it gets you into this level of comfortability of laughing and being comfortable with failure.
And that's a big thing, right? With a lot of the authors I speak with, they've put a lot on the line to make sure this book succeeds and they have these visions, these grand visions that their book is going to be a success right out the jump.
A lot of them have seen authors like Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk and James Altucher and whoever, that have had these big successes in their eyes right out the gates, or so it seems.
For the vast majority of authors, that is not only a ridiculously stressful goal, it's just not even a worthwhile goal for what you're doing. That only makes sense if you are a traditionally published author who's trying to hit bestseller lists. Under no other circumstance does it make sense to kill yourself for several weeks over a stressful launch. It just doesn't.
I think remembering that books are like seeds that you plant in the right fields of people who could potentially love it and seeing what happens, that they'll blossom over time and that you keep planting those seeds to the people that can nurture them and share them with others and expecting your book to grow slowly over time and to act like a farmer.
That's a smart way of rather than let's crush it. That's just exhausting. It just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense. Let go of that stuff.
I think that one of the most underrated things about being an author, and I'm curious what you think about this as well in your experience, I think the most underrated part about being an author is putting something out into the world and seeing what random doors open because of it.
There's a part of you in the world now that is interacting on its own accord, with other people that you have nothing to do with really, and amazing things happen.
Some of my best friends have come because they read my book and they reached out to me and they had a connection with me and they were willing to give things, give services or whatever. They helped me in some way that they never would have done had I not had something out there.
Joanna: I definitely think that most of it is not that month of launch. That month of launch is almost nothing in the grand scheme of things. But I think there is a very traditional publishing historic myth that that month you have to hit the bestseller list and blah, blah, blah, to be a success.
But I think you're right, this sort of “You must get it right” attitude, especially coming on podcasts. You interview so many people, I interview so many people, and some people, you have to help through the process because they're so nervous.
I do want to ask you about vulnerability because what you've done even just in the story you've told on the show, in your books, in your TED Talk, you're being very vulnerable and open about your emotional history and your emotional state.
I actually think that is part of the key to a nonfiction author's success, and you see a lot of these books.
Is vulnerability and being honest the only thing that stands out in a nonfiction book these days, given there are so many?
Charlie: I love that you pointed that out because it's really true. Anybody who's read a book before can tell when the author is not being upfront and honest about things, right?
They can fool some people, for sure. So the question is, is vulnerability the only thing that can make you stand out these days? It's a good question.
Joanna: Or at least authenticity if not vulnerability?
Charlie: The way that I think of nonfiction in books is it has to be given to a motivated group of people that want that solution. They're like, “Yes. This is for me. I'm actively looking for something like this.”
If you have that, that's like 80% of the battle.
The other part is your unique story, is you always bring something to the table, your perspective, your experiences.
And I think a lot of authors struggle with this because they think, “Oh, this has been done before. I don't really have anything to add.”
No, just by being you, you have something to add. It's not to compare this to, like, painters, but no one looks at a canvas, a blank canvas, and says, “Oh, this has all been done.” Or like, “Every landscape out there has been covered. I'm not gonna participate in this.”
No, you always bring something unique to the table. So I think vulnerability is important and authenticity is important, but that's your story.
Joanna: I did also want to ask you, just because you do work with so many nonfiction authors, about what do you, and of course you have your own nonfiction books, so what do you think is right now, the most powerful form of marketing for nonfiction authors?
Are we at a point where blogging is gone and podcasting is everything, or video, or social?
What are your thoughts on marketing right now for nonfiction authors?
Charlie: I really strongly believe that if you're doing good stuff that's worth sharing and resonates with the people who are motivated for that content, it doesn't matter. Pick a medium and thrive in it.
If you love to do video or you love to do podcasts or you love to do blogging, just pick one and stick with it. You can point to examples in every single one of people who've done really well in them and it's because they found a medium that they love and they keep drilling. They keep going.
You don't necessarily have to have a podcast because your favorite writers have a podcast. You don't have to start a YouTube channel because, boy, YouTube seems to be all the rage these days.
Just pick one that you know you'll really love.
Obviously, the benefit of having an e-mail list, I think, cannot be overstated. That is the business communication tool. So if you want to move the needle, in terms of having a sustainable career, there's nothing better than building a list, in my opinion, still.
Having said all that, it's taken me a while to really figure out the things that I like. I love to do video. You can't see it, but I've got all this video equipment over here, and it's arduous, it's time-consuming, it's really tedious, but it's my preferred medium.
So if you haven't found your medium, keep experimenting and find the one that you wanna deal with the pain of it because the struggle is fun.
Joanna: The frustration is the process, not just part of the process. I think that's what I was trying to get to at the beginning when I was talking about work as sometimes play. Sometimes, the outcome, like when I'm writing a novel, it really doesn't feel like play, like what I would define as play. But, actually, when you look at it later, it's like, “Well, I really love doing that.”
Charlie: Yeah. Exactly.
Joanna: The same with your film, I presume.
Charlie: Exactly. You're hitting upon something really important, which is it doesn't always have to feel fun to be play, right? Play can be serious business too.
But the element that we tend to neglect because the advice, obviously, that we always get is like find your passion and it feels like you never have to work a day in your life. I don't necessarily think that's true.
I think you have to find what you love to struggle with as well, what you're not only willing to endure, but you like to endure because you always feel like you're growing or uncovering something new.
That's my personal draw to video, whereas with other mediums, I felt like, whatever. I don't have a strong desire to continue to grow in it. But with video, I always do, and it's been that way for over a decade.
Joanna: That's really important and I love that. I think that's great. I do have just a couple more questions. You have a daughter now, right? You have a young daughter. We often think, well, children play. That's what they do.
How has having a child changed your attitude to play? How has that helped, in some way, understand play?
Charlie: Truthfully, I don't think it's changed my attitude at all. If anything, it's just a daily reminder.
And I know people hate when you compare dogs with kids, but it's the same with dogs. Dogs are playful too. So it's just a continual reminder of how important that is to their development.
I don't know if you feel this way, but I always feel like I can reflect whatever energy of the person that I'm interacting with, that I can be at their level, wherever they are. And so, she reverts me to being that young in some ways. So it's only changed me in that I act more childish now.
Joanna: I think it's so funny because you mentioned the dogs. My husband keeps saying that we should get a dog so that I play more. Now I think maybe I should.
Charlie: Well, you're a very playful person anyway.
Joanna: Oh, that's sweet.
Charlie: You see, you've always struck me as a very joyful, fun-loving person.
Joanna: That's because I love my work. I think it really is. And if you'd known me when I was the black work wraith, which is what I was like in my old job, I was not fun. But final question, in “Play for a Living,” which is a great inspirational book, there is a quote in there by Arthur C. Clarke.
It says, “The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play.”
I thought this was a great quote right now at this time in history, because we have AI, we have robots, we have automation, we have all this media saying that jobs are going, that what are people going to do with their time?
What do you think about the future for us, but also your daughter? Where is life going and how can we look forward to it so that we can play?
Charlie: I'm so glad that you brought up this quote. This is one of my favorite ones in the book.
A little context on Arthur C. Clarke, he was, I believe, the co-author of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He also predicted satellite communication before, basically, anybody else. He was a futurist, in the truest sense of the word.
Where do I think things are going now? With all the technological advances, these have happened throughout history, right? And in each time that it's happened, there has been this prediction of, “Oh, certainly humans are going to work less now,” and it's actually been the opposite. It's gone the opposite route where we've worked more.
I think what's likely going to happen is that it's not that we're going to work less, I think our time is always going to be filled with activity that we find productive or meaningful or industrious or whatever.
I just think there's so much more of freedom to actually do the things that you want to do and not the things that you have to do. Because the cost of living, certain cities excluded, the cost of living and having a good life, a materially rich life, where you have all the things that you need, has never been lower. Things keep getting better in so many realms and it's easy to get lost in the narrative of we need to bring jobs back.
I don't know if you saw Dave Chappelle's new stand up where he's like, “Stop trying to make us design iPhones. Stop trying to bring manufacturing jobs into the U.S. We don't want to make iPhones.”
I think it's funny because it's tempting to go down that track for a lot of people that we need to create jobs, but we could create jobs at any moment. The government could say we need 40,000 people to dig holes in the ground, like an arbitrary job.
What I hope happens is more and more people are raised with the notion that you can design your life. You don't have to go and have somebody else to give you homework assignments so you can pay the bills for the rest of your life. You can assign yourself the work and you can create value with the people that you want to create value with.
I think the story we don't get told often enough when we are kids, we're told, “You can be anything you want to be. Find your passion.”
I think what we don't get told enough is, “Find the people that you want to play with for the rest of your life.” Because when you find those people, it never feels like work. And, obviously, as writers, like, the people that we want to play with is ourselves.
Joanna: Or the fictional characters in my head.
Charlie: Yeah, the fictional characters. Right. But that's equally valid, right?
We don't get told that often enough: “Find your tribe that you want to build and be around and thrive with.” And so, hopefully, the narrative of work shifts toward that. I hope. That's sort of why I wrote “Play for a Living.”
I really believe in what they say at the end of the book with Plato's quote that life must be lived as play. What is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play.
And with Alan Watts' quote, “Instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
It's just a mindset shift that you can flip that switch any time you want. And I think, culturally, I hope we have that collective realization at some point.
Joanna: Me too. Well, this has been fantastic. Tell people where they can find you and everything you do online.
Charlie: Cool. Yeah, this has been great. Thank you. This has been one of the best conversations I've ever had, podcast wise and video, so thank you for being a great host.
So people can find me… I mean, everybody listens to podcasts on here, so I'm on iTunes under “Author Hour” and I interview authors and talk about their books.
For people who sometimes feel like when they're reading nonfiction, they're like, “Get to the point,” that's the whole point of “Author Hour.” It's just to get it all out of them. Then I'm on Amazon and charliehoehn.com.
Joanna: Fantastic. Thanks so much for your time, Charlie. That was great.
Charlie: Thank you. This has been awesome.