Nov
07

How Much is Too Much?

Written by Gwydhar Gebien

I got into an argument yesterday with one of my fellow Blue Damen team members about how many projects we should be scheduling for next year. We didn’t really resolve things straight out,  but it did get me thinking about where the line is between doing enough and doing too much.

The first part of this argument is where do you draw the line between projects from your personal life vs projects from your professional life? For instance, this coming year I will be planning a wedding. A wedding is a Big Deal that will take up a lot of time and resources. In fact producing a film and producing a wedding involve largely the same resources and the same kind of time commitment. The only difference is that a wedding is a personal project while a film is a professional project.

The problem is time. As C.S. Lewis says:  ” The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. “  There is only so much time in the day and only so many days in a year. Do I choose to commit that time to a personal project or to a professional one? If I choose to only work on a personal project such as a wedding I lose my professional momentum from having films in production or in the festival circuit. On the other hand, if I commit myself entirely to a film and neglect my personal life then who am I but a sum of my work?

Is it really too much to ask to have both? Are personal projects and professional projects mutually exclusive? At what point do you begin to sacrifice one for the other?  I don’t have answers for these questions. I would like to think that the line between professional and personal is not as distinct as we like to think that it is. I would like to think that my profession is part of who I am personally, not just something that I do during the 9 to 5. I would like to believe that my personal life is equally important to my professional work as the films I produce.

So how much is too much? To work in a creative industry is to reach deep down inside your personal self and to develop something expressive and innovative and sincere through hard work and collaboration.  To separate the personal from the professional is what makes work overwhelming.

  • Blending of the personal and professional has always been at the root of the Arts. The personal inspires the professional, yes? The personal/professional dichotomy is an artificial one, in my opinion. Those who try to separate them too much end up tearing themselves apart.

  • Elisabeth Dorman

    There is a very thin life between personal and work lives. And so often, it does become blurred because the vast majority of us are not Jeckyll and Hyde; they are both important parts of our lives. Not to be sentimental, most times you need to make decisions based on what you feel is right by your gut and in your heart. It’s always best to go by intuition with the arts.

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