I saw a post on Facebook the other day that read — Stop the glorification of busy. That gave me pause. Right now, I am as busy as I have ever been in my life. A book coming out, a TV show to edit and finish producing, a new pilot script to write, and most importantly, book two of The Ascendant to finish. I have so many projects that I am running, full speed, practically every minute of every day, weekends and nights included.
But is that too busy? Am I glorifying the whirlwind that is my life right now? And is that a good thing for my life and my work?
Yes and no (which seems to be my answer to everything these days).
Yes, I am enjoying the rush of work. Sometimes it is overwhelming, for sure. Yesterday I was convinced I was having a heart attack. After five minutes I realized it was indigestion, but still, when you start worrying about that much stress, you should probably slow down a bit. But I don’t skimp on exercise or eating right, and I get enough sleep, so I can probably run at this speed for a while longer before collapsing.
But still, I am endlessly busy. There is very little time to just think. And that is probably what I miss most. Contemplative moments. The long, leisurely walks. Lying on the couch with my daughters, talking about nonsense, or watching inane television. The time to soak up world events, so that the next idea will plant a seed in my brain, and I will give it the time and space to maybe grow into something interesting.
And it does always irk me when you meet someone and all they can talk about is how busy they are — they wear their daily pressure like a badge of honor. See how important I am? The proof is that I have no time.
Have I become that person? Perhaps. But the alternative is having nothing but time. No one is asking for your services, waiting for your project, demanding you meet your deadline. That too can be soul-killing. And I have been in that “I cannot get arrested” phase of my career plenty of times before.
So what’s the answer? For me it’s not taking myself — or my busy life — too seriously. Yes, people need stuff from me right away, or want me to oversee a project, or hand them something new and brilliant — but if it weren’t me doing it, they would be getting it from someone else. To paraphrase what they say in the NFL when a player goes down with an injury — Next Writer Up. I want that Next Writer to stay on the sidelines just a little while longer.
So I’ll try not to glorify my busy, but I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t please me. I like being in demand. I like having multiple projects, multiple chances to have my voice and my vision heard. Because that’s why I have spent all those years in a cave hacking away at my keyboard, the phone never ringing. For moments like this.
For the busy.