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Juggling & Creative Juju

Lately I’ve been learning to juggle. {Maybe I should learn to actually juggle. That’d be a neat party trick. If I ever got invited to parties.}

Here are my balls. {Get your minds out of the gutters, you saucy sillies.}

  • I work your typical, 40-hours-a-week, non-creative, cubicle job. And full disclosure, it can be, well, emotionally challenging.
  • I recently took on what I think can be called a load of freelance writing work.
  • I’m still pursuing the whole crazy screenwriting dream.
  • I’m supposed to be finishing a short film.
  • I’m trying to keep in shape & to lose approximately 7 pounds in order to fit into the bridesmaid dress I ordered for my sister’s wedding because I’m silly & stubborn & demanded the size I thought I should have rather than the one I measured for post-holiday-binges-and-Melting-Pot.
  • I like to see movies and watch a handful of TV shows as well as read a variety of books, in my efforts to be culturally aware, artistically fulfilled, and to just effing relax from time to time.  Sometimes these activities are combined with one of my favorite pastimes of Hanging Out With My Boyfriend.
  • And then there’s the effort to maintain some semblance of a social life by seeing Other Human Beings in a non-work environment from time to time.

And what I’m finding is that’s quite a lot of balls. {Out. Of. Gutters!}

For a while, I was trying to make myself adhere to the brilliant GITS 1, 2, 7, 14 Method, but it just became too much, and I’d often find myself staring at my computer screen pretending to work but really accomplishing nothing or giving in and mainlining episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix Instant. Once I’m out from under the pressure of the major contest deadlines, I’d like to implement it again, either in its original form or in a modified-for-me version. But right now, it just wasn’t working.

So last week I finally gave in and gave myself permission to focus my creative endeavors on One Thing. And right now, that’s rewriting SoS until it’s in ship-shape for Nicholl and Austin.  The other script I’ve got in the pipeline will wait, an

Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and take the pups for a walk.

d it will be better for it when I can throw all my creative juju at it instead of parceling it out.  Same goes on the short film. Once the contest deadlines are out of the way, I’ll be able to breathe and dedicate creative energy to finishing post-production and taking whatever next step I feel is appropriate when the product is final.

One thing I’m trying to do this year is to be more forgiving of myself. My mantra is, “Let it be.” I’m ambitious, and I push myself hard — and these are good things when you’re chasing big dreams. But I’m also human, and I deserve to be treated as such — especially by my own self.  Some days, you just need a break. And if you’re working consistently and putting in the effort every day, then allowing those days to be what they are is totally OK.  It’s tough to find the balance between taskmaster and pushover, but I’m working on it.

I’m also working on actually scheduling in downtime on a more regular basis, because when I’m doing that, the burnout days happen less often.  So even though my to-do list seems to grow every day instead of shrink, next week I’m taking a much-needed two days off from everything to go to St. Louis with the boyfriend. No agenda (except going up in the Arch, which is non-negotiable). Just fun. I’m pretty sure I can do that. And I’m also pretty certain my creative brain will be better for it, too.

So that’s what I’m doing. Or trying to do.

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