Support us
February 29, 2024

We need time to NOT create.

by Tony Gapastione
Screenshot 2024 02 29 at 9.30.38 PM

I don’t like it.

I don’t like NOT creating. I don’t like not doing stuff. It’s somehow ingrained in me to work and work too much. That’s NOT HEALTHY. Captain obvious, I know.

This challenge is common for many.

It comes from being a creative freelancer, an indie artist/filmmaker, an entrepreneur and (for me) a leader of a nonprofit. I always feel the hustle to find the next gig because my jobs are not magically falling out of the sky. And I don’t have a salary, insurance, or benefits waiting and available for me. I had that at one time in my life and miss it. Now, if I don’t work, I don’t eat, pay rent, etc.

This can be taxing on one’s mental health. Again, obvious. So what do we do about this?.

It’s even more challenging that I LOVE my creative work.

I like writing, making movies, directing actors, producing ideas into reality, facilitating screenwriting classes and our BraveMaker acting Academy. I love doing my podcasts and hosting events.

to It’s very satisfying. I feel accomplished and good at my job.

And as a filmmaker/producer/screenwriter–we have to have many projects in all sorts of phases of because they often take so long and you never know when one is going to move forward and one might stall. So I’ve grown accustomed to having many” irons in the fire” as the saying goes.

But I’m telling myself, and it’s backed up with research, that our brains work/create better when they have time to NOT create. Like recharging our cell phone battery, we have to decompress and plug in.

So is it one day a week? It is it quarterly days at the beach? Annual vacations? All of the above?

When I got the flu/bad cold a few weeks back it seemed to linger longer than usual. I felt my body needing lots of time in bed. I normally press through sickness, like it’s a luxury to have time off. This is not good for one’s physical and emotional health.

I need to normalize rest, relaxation and not creating, thinking creatively or planning something creative with every extra minute I get. I am constantly listening to podcasts and reading books and articles to enhance my creativity but I have to make time to NOT listen to podcasts and not read books about filmmaking and entertainment industry.

Because this will make me a more creative person yes, but also a healthier person in all respects.

What about you? How do you practice self care?

I would have said I practice self-care by listening to podcasts, writing and reading books…now I need to explore other practices. Nature. No phones. No screens. I want to try one of those salt soak float things. I’ve heard it’s completely silent in the tank. Even thinking about that intimidates me.

I’m learning. Even as I type this I feel like a hypocrite. I haven’t written a blog in over month and really want to be in bed right now but wanted to ensure this was posted before the new month hits. See? I need a lot of help.

I need to take MORE TIME off (and trust financial provision will come my way). I need to rest more, got to bed early, not be all caught up on email (that’s an easy goal to achieve) and possibly…say NO to more things so I can focus on what’s best for me and my creativity…for me and my brain capacity.

My family recently took a short three-day getaway. I LITERALLY stopped and smelled flowers. It was kind of glorious. I SMELLED real flowers, heard the birds chirp and felt the wind on my skin. Too poetic? Overdramatic? Movie-like? Maybe. But even just looking at th3w3 picture (which I fully posed for) taken by my daughter has a positive impact on me. It’s like sense memory.

Screenshot 2024 02 29 at 9.30.22 PM

Life is meant to be lived.

Sunrises. Sunsets. Fields of flowers.

Peace to you as you live this life and make sense of it in whatever ways you can.

So in the final hours on this leap year day, February 29th, 2024, I make the time to:



This is what it means to be human.


Subscribe below to get BraveMaker blog posts delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Posts

April 9, 2024
Film Fest Panels DO’s and DON’TS

I just came back from screening one of our new shorts in Los Angeles for the Pasadena International Film Festival, (PIFF), ironically not held in Pasadena but in North Hollywood […]

Read More
March 30, 2024
Producers get the job done

What do producers do again? EVERY.THING. I recently finished producing a new short film with our BraveMaker Academy. It was so fun. I started a producer workshop and had a […]

Read More
February 29, 2024
We need time to NOT create.

I don’t like it. I don’t like NOT creating. I don’t like not doing stuff. It’s somehow ingrained in me to work and work too much. That’s NOT HEALTHY. Captain […]

Read More

Tony Gapastione

Tony Gapastione is a screenwriter/producer and director living in Redwood City, California. He founded and executive directs BraveMaker, a 501c3 nonprofit arts charity dedicated to educate, entertain and create community experiences around justice, diversity and inclusion. He and his wife Wendy have three daughters, one labradoodle and two guinea pigs...all of which end up in his movies in some way. His first feature film, "Last Chance Charlene" will be on VOD, February 2023. Connect with him on Instagram: @tonygapastione
crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram