Playwriting

Big Picture Small Picture

mountain

I get overwhelmed by the Big Picture all the time. The play I’m working on. And the other play I’m working on. And the other play i’m working on. And I need to research that play I’m adjudicating. And I have to do a detailed outline for that multi-day workshop. And the newsletter isn’t going to write itself. And I haven’t worked on my latest ebook in weeks. And I haven’t recorded the podcast and oh crap I haven’t done today’s blog post. I think about the mountain I need to climb, I see myself standing in the foothills and find myself incapable of moving forward. Taking even one step. It’s so much easier to do nothing. It’s easier not to anything rather than face the mountain. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a workshop or a play or teaching, the bigger picture of an activity often leaves me under the covers with a bag of Cheetos.

Recently as I have intensified the number of workshops, writing projects, teaching projects, project projects I’ve taken on, I have really had to force myself to work on the small picture. Small steps. That’s how I am able to move forward and get things done. Hey, that new book idea might be huge, but I’m going to work on this one small section for an hour. And then I’m going to work on the first scene of that play. And hey, I’m not adjudicating that festival for two months, no need to worry or even think about that now. Today I’ll work on this project, tomorrow I’ll work on that. I make a list of small steps and I stick to that list.

Sometimes it’s all so overwhelming I have to break it down even further. Today I’m going to do one thing. Just one thing for one project. Nothing else. And once that one thing is done, the rest of the day is mine to play free cell so I choose. Do one thing. That’s it, that’s all.

Now what happens more often than not, is that I’ll do my one thing and because I have honed in and focused on something small, I’m in the right frame of mind to continue on. And so I do. I move on to the next small thing on the list. Right on up the mountain. But if I’m not in the right frame of mind, there is no punishing myself. That’s the rule. There’s no point otherwise. And doing one thing is always going to be better than none. Doing one thing is one step closer to a completed project, the big picture, which is the ultimate goal. And I’ll get there, one small step at a time.

What do you do to get to your goal? How do you handle being overwhelmed?

 

About the author

Lindsay Price

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