I’ve never been too fond of the term “overachiever.” Most people who do and achieve more than the average human tend to be something more like over-doers. That sounds a lot more fitting, considering many of the people you see “overachieving” are probably taking Above And Beyond just a little too far.
The combination of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), a strong desire to help people and inspire people, and an (I would argue totally normal) dislike for boredom — and some other things I won’t mention now — I have a tendency to commit to many projects simultaneously … and then wonder why I’m so gosh darn tired all the time.
And why I haven’t seen any of the shows or movies everyone is talking about.
Or why I just heard a Billie Elish song for the first time (I had never heard of her until my day job suddenly required me to know who celebrities are and why they are famous).
I like having things to do. Especially writing things. It gives my creative energy somewhere constructive to go, it makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the world. But most importantly, writing commitments are a significant source of social contact in my everyday life. I like getting to know other creative people and share ideas and learn from people who might have more experience or greater/different knowledge than me in certain areas.
But sometimes, doing a lot is not a good thing. It’s not a good thing for the editors waiting until the last minute for my work and it’s not good for my mental health.
Finding balance as a writer — in not just work but also in all the things you want to do in your life — is not easy. In fact, it may not even be possible to ever find perfect balance because things are constantly in motion and you have to learn to adapt to change in an instant.
But here’s one thing that has started working for me: saying yes to less to some things and more to others.