• Eloise Unerman

Learning to be a No Person

I hope the reality is setting in for you all that these pieces about creativity and mental health are as much for me as they are for you.

So, on the subject of self-care and doing things for yourself - this month's post is based off of a very common piece of writing advice, but fuelled by my current experiences with game development.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I got when I started out with writing was say yes to everything - within reason, obviously, don’t say yes if someone asks you to jump off a bridge or wants you to do something that’s just plain wrong.

I love seeing people find something they’re really passionate about - and I especially like it when that thing finds them instead.

Saying yes will take you to interesting places. But learning to say no is important too. To recognise that ‘no’ isn’t damaging, or entitled or indicative of a lack of passion and work ethic and commitment.

You can't serve from an empty cup - meaning you can't dedicate energy to something if you don't have any of it left.

Imagine you've invited friends round for a hot drink - please don't do that right now, the smell of coffee isn't the only thing you'll be inhaling.

Your cup won't always be the same. There'll be times when it's overflowing, and you barely have to tip it to serve a delicious drink. And you can keep refilling those mugs all night.

But sometimes your cup starts to get empty, and you don't want to disappoint your guests. So you pretend there's still plenty in your cup and carry on filling their cups to the brim. You're going to run out before you finish, and both you and your guests are going to be unhappy.

Maybe you started the whole event because you felt like you had to. You've probably got about a teaspoon left, and you've promised these people gallons of coffee and now you're praying it appears. (It probably won't. And, if it does, it might scald you.)