07.12.13 Career & Finances

Work… In Progress

Work… In Progress

BY Jill Kushner

I work my ass off when I’m working on other people’s work. I really do. I straight up love working. I’ll spend way more hours than most of the staff, in the office on any given job. And, whenever I’m on a job, that job is on my mind 24/7. I will consistently generate much more work than is asked of me. I will make myself entirely available to the job at hand and to those who are in charge, and I want to be that way. That’s 100% me. That’s how I work. That’s how I work-roll, yo.

But, when it comes to working for me… working on something that I’ve come up with from square one for myself and want to execute, develop and see to fruition… Do you know how hard I’ve worked to not work on my own work? I’ve worked unbelievably hard at not doing this work. It is so much work to avoid doing this work that it gives me a headache.

Whenever anyone suggests that I do my own work, something for myself… all I can do is think and think and think about that work, and not do that work. So. Much. Thinking. Do they give awards for thinking? What about awards for over thinking? What the hell am I thinking about exactly? I’ll deconstruct this, not just for you, but for me, as well. Probably more for me, therefore I apologize to you if you signed on hoping to read something from a way more balanced person.

Okay, so I’m a writer so, I worry about structure, act breaks, formatting and so on. Here’s what I panic about. What if I forget what (everyone else surely knows), for example, has to happen mid-way through Act 2 and I end up making a complete ass out of myself on the page? What if my page 11 is supposed to have happened on page 7 and I’m a complete idiot and should instead follow my father’s footsteps and become a dentist?

Ironically, I don’t have any of these concerns when I’m writing for other people on their shows. Not because I don’t care. I crazy care. I care plus. In those scenarios, I just write. I get ideas and pitch them out and I just write. I don’t second guess. And, I love it. My stuff is generally well-received (People love me, you guys. I’m so cute. Do you have anyone to set me up with?). Yet- and this is the dumbest most annoying ‘yet’ of all mankind- when it comes to ideas, for my own project, nothing is good enough. Or unique enough. Or clever enough. Or simply, it just sucks.

Why are we sometimes so afraid to do our own thing? Maybe, it’s just me and everyone else is totally doing their own thing. No one else is afraid. Everyone is running their own (metaphorical or actual) show. Everyone’s at some “We’re All Doing It” party and they’re all talking about me not doing it. I want to be at the Doing It Party! Someone come pick me up! No, Jill. You have to drive yourself to the Doing It Party.

Here’s the thing. Fine, I’ve discussed more than one thing, but it’s really the same one thing over and over again. I love the work. I love writing. I love coming up with ideas. I love jokes. I consider myself to be creative, clever, unique and funny. All adjectives that I not only bring with me to other people’s shows, but I love throwing out there. I love it all. Every second of the process. Why wouldn’t I go ahead and take all of those adjectives and bring them to my own party?

I’m simply talking about also creating something else. Something that’s not an assignment that’s been given to me from someone else. I want to give me the assignment. There’s zero reason why I can’t give the assignment. Unless you count the reasons that I mentioned above. And, those aren’t reasons. Those are all bullshit. You know?

It’s time.

Jill Kushner is an Emmy Award winning writer. When she's not writing and producing TV, Jill writes and produces videos which is where she makes the really big bucks. Hold for laughter. Jill is a stand up comedian and writes a weekly column for HelloGiggles. Except when she can't think of anything to write about. You can follow her on Twitter @TheJillKushner.


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