Putting it Together – Overcommitment

When it comes to new projects, I have a problem.  I don’t like to say “no.”

I’m sure that a lot of people in my position have this problem.  I want to become a better writer.  I want to become a paid writer.  I want to do this kind of work full-time.

That means any time I say no to a writing project, I’m making it harder to get the writing projects I want.  The more samples of my work I produce, the more I can point at someone and say “hey – don’t you want more of that something written by this guy right here?  And wouldn’t you like to pay him something this time?”

Logically, it all makes sense.  Where I have to remind myself to be careful is in the fact that I’m not doing this full-time right now.

It means I need to learn to be a little bit more picky.  I don’t want to say no to the right projects because those are the ones that will help me get better.  I need to say no to the projects that are exciting but don’t move me forward.

I’m always asking friends to write something for one of my shows.  Many of them are very gracious and say yes.  Others say they are really sorry but they just don’t have the time right now.

That isn’t hurtful or offensive.  There is nothing wrong with having only so many hours in the day to work on something.

If I don’t take offense in having someone say no, I can reasonably assume that others won’t be offended when I say no to something they would like me to do.

My problem is that I’m not worried about someone taking offense.  I’m genuinely interested in doing all the stuff I’m committed to writing.  I want to make all of it happen.  I’m saying yes because whatever I’m being asked to do sounds exciting and I want to be a part of it.

When I tell someone “no,” it just really frustrates me.

I think there is also a little bit of that artist’s self-doubt in there as well.  I’m always somewhat amazed that anyone wants me to write something for them.  I assume if I turn them down, they’ll never ask me again because they will find someone else and that someone else will, of course, be a lot better than me.

What I remind myself when I’m looking at a mountain of work that I’ve created for myself is I have to keep working on something.  If I respond to the work by doing nothing, then none of it is getting the attention it deserves.

So what I tend to do is jump from project to project.  I’ll write a bit of this show and then write a blog article and then jump back to a sketch I need to write.  That way everything is progressing.

This approach may not work for others but it sure works for me.  I tend to focus on a lot of different things at once and if I zero in on a single thing, I tend to get distracted quickly.

Honestly, I love to have all of these disparate things going on.  I’m still learning how to manage my time so I can do all of them right.

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About Petsnakereggie

Geek, movie buff, dad, musician, comedian, atheist, liberal and writer. I also really like Taco flavored Doritos.

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