“What have you done with all your free time?”

“How creative have you been?”

“I’ve done so much during quarantine!!”

“Have you seen all the opportunities?!”

And so on…

We’ve all seen it, all over social media, people are going crazy, being productive and sharing their intense fruits of labour for the whole world to see, and it’s fantastic, but it can also create a sense of competition and disappointment in one’s self.

My mind is very intense, to say the very least. Lots of thoughts racing around. Several ideas at once, flying around my head and bumping into each other, it’s really something to behold, and it’s a shame only I can ‘behold’ it. It’s chaotic, unorganised and simply mad. It likes to keep busy and being busy is the name of the game right now.

The global pandemic has crippled our industry, the arts has never suffered so greatly economically, and whilst we all eagerly await the bounce back (whenever that may be), there has been a sudden and welcomed drive to be creative, to adapt, to write and create and self-tape and apply for auditions and 1-2-1’s and watch endless amounts of professional webinars by industry titans, to be multi-faceted to stand out to get that recognition. That online presence. It has never been so important to adapt and put yourself out there for the world to see your brilliance, and that is a LOT of pressure, to say the least.

All these opportunities, these incentives, these calls to adapt and overcome are fantastic and so, so important. But you can’t help but feel overwhelmed. With so much going on, and such an emphasis to be ‘seen’, it’s absolutely essential you know when to take a break, when to turn off, when to tell yourself “enough twitter for today” or “I have done enough”.

We live in a 24/7 culture that drives the world forward and wears people down to their very last bone. Recently, a friend of mine, who;

  • Shot two short films
  • Is part of a web series
  • Is part of a couple of improv groups doing regular online improve sessions
  • Was cast in an online play
  • Is currently finishing their one-year intensive drama school degree
  • Has been signed by an agent
  • Is writing a one person show for their degree

Told me that they feel like they’re not doing enough, and what I understood from this is that they saw other people, doing other things, and felt the need to be doing those things too. They didn’t give themselves credit for what they had done, and they are one of the hardest working people I know.

Now doesn’t that sound a little bit crazy? Doesn’t that make you feel like you’re not doing anywhere near enough? The same feeling I felt from them. Does that not scream ‘SLOW DOWN’?!

Take a break.

Go and read that book you wanted to get into, not because it’s on your list and you must absolutely get through it, but because you want to read it, at your own pace. Go spend some time on your gaming backlog or start that new series everyone Is talking about. You are allowed to take a break.

If you’re the kind of person to hyper-organise, schedule in time to break. A phenomenal playwright, Ella Hickson recently said something that really struck a chord with me. She talked about scheduling, routine, and how important it is to creatives, especially those with hyper-active minds. What really rang true was that she knew when she was productive in the day, and when she was better off working out, having a break, taking a nap, or whatever floats your metaphorical boat. The idea to schedule in your break time, your ‘me time’, however obvious that seems, is so important.

Take a breath, and remember that you’re human, and not a machine. There will always be more to do, so take a break.

Posted by:Sami Sumaria

I like to write about anything and everything.

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