Onstage vs Backstage

January 18, 2024

Today was a very on stage day!

I did the school presentation (I think it went well! If you’re here from school checking out this site today – HI!), then 2 BOBW recordings, then Patreon! That is close to 4 hours of “performance” time which is . . . a lot. I think that’s actually right where my limit is. I don’t think I want to talk anymore today . . .

I’ve been continuing to think about batching and balancing on- and off-stage time in my creative work. I know some people talk about batching (ie recording like 10 podcast episodes in a day) and I see the efficiency value, but I have never been able to work that way. For me, I think it would take the fun out of it. I do think that sometimes my ‘backstage’ work get squeezed and that can be stressful but on the other hand, sometimes a little deadline pressure is valuable in helping me crank material out (podcast scripts, blog posts, etc).

At the same time, I’ve never been about sitting around and waiting for perfect inspiration to hit. (I don’t think I’d have a near-daily blog if that was the case). On the downside, it means that some posts are more interesting than others. On the upside, it’s more of a reflection of real life — and you never know what is going to resonate with people!

On that note, are there topics you’ve been wanting me to write about? It would be fun to have a little ‘second brain’ list of options to go to when (IF? haha) my creative well runs dry. Let me know!

PS Just started this book (on books #4 + #5 for 2024, I sense a good reading year!) and can tell I need to read it:

I’ve heard Lisa Damour on several podcasts and I love her perspective. I don’t have teens technically but . . . I think we are close enough for this to be very useful!


  • Reply Elisabeth January 18, 2024 at 3:43 pm

    I read that book last year; I felt like a few sections were a bit of a slog/not relevant to me yet, but overall it made me feel SO MUCH BETTER about parenting a tween (almost teen). My big takeaway is that she is doing her job to be pushing away, grumbling, and exerting independence. My job is to set some reasonable boundaries. Her job is to stretch those boundaries and whiplash between needing my shoulder to cry on and shutting her door FORCEFULLY with a big sigh. This is normal, she’s doing her job.
    I am telling myself that on repeat a lot lately 🙂

  • Reply Irina January 18, 2024 at 6:48 pm

    Yes, this book is golden! I say it as a teacher and as a mom of a teenager. In addition to Dr. Damour’s books, I highly recommend her Lisa’s podcast “Ask Lisa”. No matter if you have teenagers or not, her podcasts are so insightful and valuable. I think you may enjoy her episode about finding balance in 2024… nothing to do with teenagers and you don’t even have to be a parent to find something valuable in her perspective on rest and recovery.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2024 at 5:24 am

      Will add to my podcast app!

  • Reply Julie Secord January 18, 2024 at 7:07 pm

    I have a ton of respect for Lisa Damour, and this book was really good but I felt like Untangled was basically life changing. I plan on reading it once a year until my kids are grown.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2024 at 5:24 am

      Good to know!!! Will read that one too!

  • Reply Coree January 19, 2024 at 2:56 am

    I think I max out at 3 or 4 hours as well, which made my 5 hour teaching load on Fridays last term particularly problematic. I lose my voice so easily!

    I was in my kid’s school as well, doing a chat about politics for the 11-12 year olds. They were really keen and interested, but so so squirrelly. I hadn’t realised classroom management would be such an issue at that age. I went to my usual cafe afterwards and the owner said “what happened to you?” because my voice was gone and I looked a bit overwhelmed and I just croaked our “tweens…”.

  • Reply Marcia Francois January 24, 2024 at 8:27 am

    On another note, do you think your onstage/ people meeting time has lessened since Covid? I used to have 6 hours of meetings EASILY in the pre times and now, I’m wiped by 4 hours. And… I’m an extrovert.

    Maybe it’s the hybrid thing?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 24, 2024 at 10:35 am

      Hard to tell since my career has changed since then! Generally about 4 hrs time where I’m actively leading things is my limit!

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