Multipassionates come in all shapes and sizes. (Like different cookies! 🍪) Some find their passions from a variety of fields, others take on many roles in a single industry. But what we have in common is the intersection where these various traits make us us.
Starting this month, we’re spotlighting creatives who identify as multipassionates.
Our first feature focuses on their major characteristics. In a world where an assortment of pastimes is available to us at any given moment (have you seen what the new iPhones and Androids can do?!), how do we set ourselves apart?
Mike Mavilia shares his take on the multipassionate’s defining traits.
The Creative: Mike Mavilia
Mike Mavilia of The Fictional Café is a creative originally based in Boston. I first met Mike through a #StorySocial Twitter chat, where a small group of us exchanged emails so we could study each other’s online presence. The insight he shared for each individual was not only insightful but constructive, seeing deep into the participant’s intention.
In the same way he approached our small group, Mike fully engages in cultivating The Fictional Café community. When I first spoke with him about The Multipassionate Project, the three main baristas (contributors / facilitators) were Jack B. Rochester, Jason Brick, and himself. Since then, this inclusive community of literature and visual art has grown to include four other baristas — Simran P. Gupta, Caitlin M. Park, Gary Marchesano, and Natalie Rodriguez.
Although he’s an active member at the virtual coffee shop, his passions dive into other areas of writing and publication with projects as an editor, a contributor, a ghostwriter, and a short story author among other roles.
In his journey, he mentions the term “multipassionate” was mostly unheard of, which isn’t surprising since multipassionates who label their work as such are few. However, when he shared about what sets these creatives apart, two main traits arose in our conversation.
Ownership in the Work
A profound idea he shared (and that consistently surfaces when speaking with other creatives) is the difference between a multipassionate and an avid hobbyist lies in the work. He says,
I think if you can take what you’re passionate about and move it from “hobby” to “work” in your mind, it will pay dividends. I wrote as a hobby since I was a kid, but when I took my first official position in writing and editing, the whole industry opened up for me. It can be hard to find the time to pursue multiple passions, but for those who can, committing to the craft, networking, carving out time and setting goals are all necessary in order to bring those dreams to fruition.
He was first introduced The Fictional Café by a friend’s suggestion. But once he joined the core team of baristas, he encountered more opportunities to branch out along the way.
When we apply our time, energy, and resources into our creative work, our investment allows us to grow in that passion. And as we get better at what we do, we in turn become the expert, even without certificates or degrees to show for it. The practice and the experience gives us the first-hand knowledge that those with theory-based degrees usually don’t have.
In doing the work, we draw closer to the intentions we set for our passions.
Joy & Unyielding Commitment
And not only is the distinction of work important but also finding joy in the work.
Despite having multiple responsibilities already on his plate, Mike still seeks more. The root word in multipassionate is “passion,” which is derived from the Latin stem pati, meaning “to endure, undergo, experience.”
Passion stands the tests of time and challenge. When we are drawn to particular roles over and over again, our life’s calling begins to take shape. And once we see our passions becoming something greater, we then embody the lifestyle of a multipassionate.
For me, being multipassionate goes beyond the definition of being a hobbyist. The most important distinction is in the professionalism of the activity. Is there a meaningful end goal? It could be as simple as going from enthusiastic bird watcher to consistent bird blogger. It’s the difference between what one puts out in a LinkedIn profile and what one puts in a Facebook profile.
When we decide to completely commit ourselves to the work as though we’re getting paid to do it (even if we aren’t) because we love it, that is when we know we’ve found our passion. And when you’ve found several roles where you’re willing to go the distance without compensation other than personal fulfillment, then you, my friend, are a certifiable multipassionate.
You can learn more about what Mike is doing at The Fictional Café by visiting their website at http://www.fictionalcafe.com/. The virtual coffee shop is currently working on publishing their first print anthology and accepts submissions from Coffee Club members for publishing in the Café ‘zine. You can also find Mike on Twitter and Instagram.
Who comes to mind when you think of a person who immerses themselves in their work? Give them a shoutout in the comments!
On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. PT (click here to convert to your local time), our Twitter chat “Starting with Yourself: A Multipassionate Talk” will focus on how self management can help us fulfill our calling. Follow along through the hashtag #OurMakeSpace. Hope to see you there, friends! 🌱✨