Posted by: devonellington | April 25, 2022

Mon. April 25, 2022: The Process of Putting the Pieces Together

image courtesy of Shira via

You might notice that the graphic, above, is the same one I’ve used over on Ink in My Coffee for today’s post about my intent for the week.

That’s because these two posts are tied together.

We’ve talked about dreaming the ideal life, becoming the architectet of that life, becoming the artist of that life.

Now, we start to put the pieces together.

The first thing to accept – and the hardest to accept – is that it’s all a process, and nothing is guaranteed to stat secure. Unless you’re absurdly wealthy and can built yourself a fortress, outside forces will cause change. Even if you succeed in building a fortress, it can still all crumble from the inside.

But we make our plans, we take the actions that best serve those plans in the moment, and we are up on the balls of our feet, ready to move with necessary change

For me, part of putting it together and figuring out actions is a lot of downtime. A lot of percolation time, noodling time, daydreaming time. I used to feel bad about it, like I was slacking. As part of the false “productivity” narrative in which we’ve been trained to believe, I’ve always felt that, no matter how hard I worked or how much I got done, it was never “enough.” 

I no longer feel bad, nor do I try to deny that I need it.

I also, as I age, and as I figure out how I create my best work, need more rest.

I am working on not feeling guilty about that, too.

Because as long as I meet my commitments/contracts to and with others, I can and should take all the rest I need. Blowing off commitments is not okay; but figuring out how to make meeting them sustainable while protecting my own energy and needs is.

I could not have had a professional life in theatre and film production had I implemented these needs. I made a choice that I would put the demands of the profession ahead of my own needs. I do not regret it. At the same time, I no longer want to live that way.

The changes that need to happen to support sustainable lives in the arts is another conversation for another day.

I have started putting these needs into effect by:

–Working fully remotely;

–Leaning more into the freelance assignments than those that demand I work specific hours on specific days;

–Matching my energy at any given time of day to the task best suited, and enjoying the freedom so to do – which gives everyone a higher quality of work, and me a higher quality of life;

–Communicating boundaries and holding to them;

–Standing by the fact that “No” is a complete sentence and does not have to be qualified;

–Giving myself more open time to create, be it for client work or for fiction. Client work needs creativity, and that’s not always about sitting at the computer. It’s about finding the catalyst to create the best work.

There’s still a lot of work to do. A great deal of the work is sorting through various listings and calls for submissions and work situations to find the best matches, so that the financial strain is lessened, while my needs are still met. This is an ongoing process, since most companies are set up to drain the life force out of their workers in exchange for sub-sustenance. Finding situations that are not like that takes, again, time and creativity. They are worth it; they are just harder to find.

No matter how “they” market that the pandemic is over so that we run around dying for our employers again and/or dying to go shopping, attend conferences and events without safety protocols, and pretend everything is fine until it kills us, things will never be the same again.


Since we will not get the societal support necessary to rebuild our lives as the pandemic continues, due to those who are in an extremist cult and/or those who choose oblivion, we have to re-create our own worlds, and then ripple what works out to support each other and create oases of sustainable lives with each other.

How are you putting the pieces together to reshape your life?


  1. I totally agree things will never be the same after the pandemic which is not over. I for one am not ready to go back to what others think is ‘life as usual.’ I will take my time and wear a mask until I am comfortable not to.

  2. […] once, this Tuesday post won’t be pages and pages. There’s a post over on the GDR site about putting together the pieces that have been discussed there over the past few […]

  3. Same. It’s not worth the risk.

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