I Suffer from ONTS
I had to check WebMD to make sure this was a thing. It's not.
ONTS is a chronic non-disease that stands for Overwhelmed by New Things Syndrome, and I have it, or at least I did until a few weeks ago.
I’m feeling much better now, but there’s always a chance it will return unless I take steps to take better care of myself.
Jump back in time to a few weeks ago after my previous post. When I wrote that post, I was eager to get started on a new, prolific writing career. And then I disappeared.
Because on top of starting this new creative outlet, I was trying to do a number of other things as well.
I started a new business practically from scratch
Shuttered my old business
Launched not one, but two newsletters
Redesigned my entire website for the new business
Pledged to produce several new, digital assets packs for artists and designers
Researched and planned a new advertising campaign for the business
Wrote, recorded, edited, and launched a new poster design course
Wrote, recorded, edited, and uploaded a new YouTube every week
Worked one-on-one with creative coaching clients
Co-organized, juried, and hosted a 50-artist gallery event
And of course, I have all my home-life duties, namely carting my son around to his various swim team practices and meets.
The problem isn’t that I had a lot on my plate, but that a lot of the things I had on that plate were relatively new things, and I was plagued by an amateur’s level of inexperience.
On individual items, that’s not a problem, but loading up several new things to learn all at once got me feeling like a rhino wearing lead boots while stuck in a sinkhole.
Going nowhere but down, fast
At a tipping point, I recognized the problem and immediately cut ties temporarily with all of the things that weren’t immediately pressing.
I intended to tackle all the things on that list, but how about we put them in a pile and work on the one at the top first, instead of trying to juggle all the proverbial plates at once.
It worked, mostly.
Even as recently as yesterday, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, but a well-timed phone call with a friend got me feeling much better about things. They were also suffering from ONTS themselves and also cut ties from all the bad stuff that kept them from focusing on the most important things.
Sometimes commiseration is the answer to the problem. There’s a risk of feeling more overwhelmed in those moments, because if they are feeling bad too, then we’re all feeling bad, and the world is fvcked!
Or, we can remember that the world still goes on whether we finish everything on the list or not, and if we miss our self-imposed deadlines, the world doesn’t have access to our calendar to check up on us.
The truth is, most people are too caught up in their own ONTS situations to pay attention to ours.
The TL;DR (a bit late in the game) is that I finished several of the items on the list and the clouds are parting from a cluttered sky.
And that means it’s time to figure out what I’m doing with this space.
If you know me, you already know I have a plan, and it’s gonna be good.
The eventual goal is to post three times a week, with two posts being public and one for members. That may take a while to get to that production level, we’ll see how it goes.
And I’m sure the next question is, what would a members-only post look like?
Breaking down my art and design process on individual projects
Critiques (perhaps unsolicited) of other designer’s and artist’s work
More in-depth experience of things I might share in the public feed
Digital art and assets that I created specifically for the group.
I always love the “and more” because it’s not so much of a cop-out, but a promise of things I haven’t thought of yet.
But for now, onto the next project, which is to figure out my workflow for all the things I’m committing to, and get my butt on a schedule.
Sidenote: I started writing this the night before, but family life took over and I had to put it off. Instead of jumping into a whole other project today, I finished this post.
ONTS isn’t curable, but we have the tools to manage it.
Please do not talk to your physician before treating your ONTS because they will not know what you are talking about.
Until next time,
BGT - BEBT - CYA