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Blog - Gary Thomas

That thing you’re feeling might be overwhelm…

A pile of paper on a printer with more paper coming out of the printer and even more paper in the background.

A pile of paper on a printer with a hard drive on it, more paper coming out of the printer and even more paper in the background

That feeling. What is it? What is it, really, that you’re feeling right now? Oh right, it’s overwhelm. I learned about it on a zoom webinar.

Like, learning is great an’ all, but I think I need to go to rehab to

A) stop looking at online courses
B) Stop thinking I need to learn new stuff
C) Know that it’s ok to do nothing.

Seriously, that last one!!!?? I know right. Do nothing. Nope, new feeling. Well, an every now and again feeling.

And as I write, waiting to hear new guidelines of how we’re supposed to live and work right now.

I think for me the pressure comes from me, but also there’s a wealth of knowledge out there and it’s hard not to be lazy and not to take advantage of all the new info and all the excitement. Not to mention thinking that being on one zoom webinar could change my life. That could give me that connection to take my career to a whole other level. No matter how unlikely that seems.

I’ve actually been on two zooms at the same time before now. Recording one zoom on one device in my bedroom, and then being on another one on my laptop.

It’s that fear of missing out, but actually now I just want to ENJOY the feeling of missing out. EFMO. Yeah, I’m not going on that zoom tonight. Just because. No reason needed. But it’s hard.

I think I feel this way because I was so productive. Between February and July I wrote 2 screenplays, both from scratch. A new half hour comedy pilot and a new hour long pilot, both for TV. I also started another one of which I’m on page 18 as we speak. It felt great. But then I was wiped out. I stopped taking courses and didn’t write much. Can I only write when I’m on a course? That’s going to get really expensive. But this is why I need the rehab. Just stop, slow down, it doesn’t actually matter I didn’t write anything in the last half of July. But I’ve made up for it since with rewrites.

I wanted to push myself because I was due to submit work, and I wasn’t so great at the beginning of a particular week. But I pushed myself, and this month rewrote 40 pages of one script in a day, so I could send the hour long script in time. I’d already worked on the first 20. Sent it off at 4AM, but that’s actually fine, because it was only 7pm in LA. Later than I hoped, but still, I did that.

But now, hell, I’m tired. And I haven’t even mentioned the day job, which I’m fortunate enough to still have, and looking after my mother. And pitching a script in August, with classes from LA at 2am London time.

So if there’s more free stuff to learn, that’s great, but I might try and take things a bit easier from now on.

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Zoe C
Zoe C
1 month ago

creative work is still work. and learning can become work like. working too many hours when we all need to slow down (and maybe reflect) so as we don’t burn out. (first signs of poor mh are overwork and poor sleep combo).

also ‘boredom’/just sitting about doing nothing can be a source of inspiration. so be ‘lazy’ and enjoy yourself doing nothing.

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