One of the things I decided to really work on in 2012 is saying 'no'. I know, it sounds like a pretty negative thing to work on at first glance, but that's just it. Saying 'no' isn't always about being negative. It's about being realistic.
It would be awesome to just be able to say yes to everything. Yes, I will meet you for lunch! Yes, I will make video-snippets for your new video series! Yes, I will check out your channel! Yes, I will reply to every single email I receive! Yes, I will skype with you for the next hour! Yes, I will write a book! Yes, I will produce, act in and write this web series! Yes, I will go to your meetup! Yes, I will clean my room! Yes, I will stay caught up on all the new TV! Yes, I will say happy birthday to your cousin who's a fan I've never met! Yes, I will read that book you sent me! Yes, I will start going to the gym! Yes, I will promote your cause! Yes, I will do a giveaway for your product in my videos! Yes, I will go to your party! Yes, I will attend that convention! Yes, yes, yes!
Unfortunately, someone who says yes to all those things (and the hundreds more yesses people want from us on a daily basis) would, without a doubt, start to go absolutely crazy before long. One thing I've really had to just accept in life recently is that you can't do everything. You can't.
I like saying yes to everyone. I like helping people, I like being there for my friends and I like being in involved in new things. But sometimes it's just physically impossible. And finding that limit can sometimes be a lot harder than one would think.
So I tried it. I said 'no' to a video project I was offered in early January. It was scary, and I almost caved and did the project anyway - but, once I said no, I was overcome by how easy it was. So not only did I start saying no to other people, I started to find a few ways to downsize a little on the current responsibilities I already arbitrarily have for myself. Even the basic act of keeping up with social media is exhausting. Having multiple YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, Facebook, Tumblr etc etc etc. It's so much! There are ways to consolidate!
Don't be mistaken - this is not about saying no to EVERYTHING. That is bad. That is not what anyone should do. Learning to say 'no' doesn't mean holing up in your room and becoming a hermit; doing only leisurely things whenever you want. I'm talking about balancing your yesses with your nos, making sure you're focusing on the things that really matter to you and not letting your time get tied up in too many projects/responsibilities/commitments/etc.
Look at it this way. If you say yes to enough people, eventually you'll find you're only helping them make THEIR stuff happen. Nobody's going to check up on you and make sure you're working on your own stuff, too. And when you're super busy... there's no one to answer to when it comes to your own stuff. So that's often the first to go.
What it comes down to is, you have to balance. Allow yourself time for YOU.
While still helping others when you can.
So. I told myself, it's not a big deal if I don't post more than one YouTube video in a week. I absolutely adore blogging, but it's been tougher lately, trying to figure out how to do regular updates when I'm working on so many things I can't actually fully divulge on. So my blog got to take a back seat as well. I realized even scheduling weekly live shows was too much, so I put them on hiatus. Answering questions on Tumblr? Those can wait. Right now it's web series.
Clearing out my schedule in these small ways has really given me the extra time (and sanity) I've needed to throw myself into Job Hunters. I don't think I've been this dedicated to a single project with a group of people since high school theatre. It's a pretty amazing thing.
I am bursting at the seams wanting to tell you guys every little detail about it, but it's also kind of fun to have it so under wraps. Everything else in my life is so public - my music, my trips, my thoughts and ideas, even past relationships - I'm so used to sharing everything with you. This is exciting, new territory for me. I can't wait to just surprise everyone with the final product.
We've been doing pre-production all month - my main responsibilities have been coordinating with our costumer and makeup artist (costume shopping is SO FUN) as well as final script revision and whatnot. Today we had a set building work party, but my friend Molly and I were sent on prop scouting. I wont pretend we didn't get a little distracted at a giant thrift store though. I may or may not have purchased a Lizzie McGuire cookie jar. Um.
Hey, loyal blog readers. I hope you've been doing well. I want to thank you guys for sticking around even when I'm not giving you much in the way of 'entertainment'. YouTube videos in general have such quick turn-around time, but trying to pull off a production of this magnitude... I've really felt like I've gone into hiding, and it's strange for me.
I just hope no one minds a little bit of radio silence while I continue to work silently over here on the biggest project of my life, so far. :)