Actually Getting Big Things Done is a series of guests posts on how to make things happen from those who know how to… well… actually get big things done. Today’s post comes from Yuvi Zalkow. Readers of the site already know my obsession with Yuvi’s work, if you haven’t read the site… I’m obsessed with Yuvi’s work. There’s an honesty and perseverance in his blog, in his videos and in his book that I steal from liberally. Recently, Yuvi decided to stop doing a lot of his current “Big Things” to figure some things out… since I couldn’t go another day without reading his stuff, I begged him to share why he’s abandoned all of us (and by us, I mean me).
The existence of this blog post already discredits me for what I’m about to say. Because I’m not supposed to be blogging for the rest of the year. I also quit checking in on Facebook. I rarely am on Twitter except to tell a dirty joke. I’m also barely reading other people’s blogs — even blogs I greatly admire, like my dear friend Michael Schechter’s blog. I barely am listening to any podcasts. I’m even worse than usual about returning emails. I’ve even quit making my “I’m a Failed Writer” video series. Since October 15, I’ve pretty much dropped out of digital existence.
This is (mostly) temporary.
After the release of my book in August, I hit a pretty severe low. You could blame a lot of things. I was stressed trying to do a million different tasks related to book promotion. And I was trying to keep up with writing and video making. And I was suddenly over-thinking how my listeners and readers and watchers would judge what I produced. To the point of creative paralysis. And, oh yeah, there was that full time day job and that family I go home to every night… Basically I was doing everything really poorly. And I grew to hate my voice — in writing, in video making, in blogging, with family and friends.
So I decided to drop out of the online scene.
Until January 1st. Ish.
My goals are pretty simple: I want to start getting immersed in the writing again. And I want to come up with some cool ideas for a new video series. All while being very present with my family… And not getting fired from my day job.
Writing a book and working on a (poorly animated) video series are big things, things that I may not be able to pull off in even the best circumstances. And so they need some nurturing until they have enough momentum to live alongside other activities. So my assessment was that everything else had to fall away, until I regain the excitement and momentum in these creative areas. Once regained, (I hope) I’ll feel ready to bring back those other aspects of my world in a cautious way, without letting them take me over again.
This adjustment is starting to pay off. I’m pretty excited about my novel again. And I’ve got some really fun ideas for a new video series that I’m toying with. Things aren’t moving as fast as I’d like, but they are moving.
Of course there are costs. My detachment isn’t entirely appreciated by others. I’ve probably burned a few bridges by disappearing and not being very responsive online. I’m obviously not selling many books when I never mention the book anywhere. But the cost of not disappearing seemed even worse. (Since I began this experiment, my level of self-loathing has decreased over 34.73%!)
Next year, as I reintroduce these online things, I’ll better understand how this technique played out. I suspect that some of these online areas are gone for good. Other areas I may return to with a different perspective. But that’s not my concern at this phase. Because I’ve got a damn novel and video series to work on.
So that’s my story as of November 27th. Just please don’t point out the hypocrisy of me writing this blog post about not writing blog posts. My self-loathing levels and therapy costs are not yet stable enough to take in that information.