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Why Are We Too Busy to Write?


I’ve been reflecting on being “busy” lately. It seems whenever I catch up with friends and family and ask how they are, most reply “busy” almost automatically.

Many of them also marvel at how I “find the time” to write in between all of life’s other obligations, and I tell them it’s not a big mystery. It is just a matter of simplifying and prioritizing what matters most to you. I also had – what I believed – to be a kinda sorta conspiracy theory that we’re being constantly told we’re busy by marketing companies.

Ever notice how many ads tell you that you’re too busy to clean or make dinner? Once you focus on it, you can’t un-hear it.

Anyway, in the spirit of NanoWriMo, I wanted to share this great little article by Oliver Burkeman over on The Guardian about “shadow work”, which gives a name to this constant state of “busy” we all seem to be in.

SPOILER ALERT: it seems the promise of technology and automation backfired a bit.

What do you think? Do you always feel busy, and struggle to carve out time for writing or other creative endeavors? Let me know down in the comments.

Have a great weekend!


5 thoughts on “Why Are We Too Busy to Write?”

  1. Great post and article. I hadn’t seen that one (in all my scrolling through social media junk on my newly-purchased cell phone from this actual decade). I mean, I’m an introvert, but I do seek out people–real grocery store clerks instead of self-serve, a real cashier in McDonald’s (on the rare event I go, it does happen once in a while) instead of their new touch screens. I would miss those little human interactions. (The lady in my local McDon’s is the happiest person on Earth and I love her–OK, I go in there more than I should.) And I won’t feel bad the next time someone at the grocery store tries to get me to use the self-service fiasco of a machine and I reply: sorry, I don’t work here.


    1. I’m on a first name basis with the people at my local Dunkin Donuts. I always steal a line from comedian Bill Burr when they usher me towards those self-checkout machines. “I didn’t realize I worked here now! I’m sorry, but I left my apron at home.”


  2. Sure, self service checkouts can be convenient, but I always find myself thinking “I’m doing your job and not getting paid” while I scan my groceries and the self-service attendant stands around and watches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was shocked when I walked into a local McDonald’s. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and it was 75% kiosks. Rather than having people to talk to and take orders it was one person just milling around to assist customers in case they needed help using “self-service”. I just politely said “no thanks I’ll stand in line,” and waited to order my Filet-O-Fish from a warm-blooded human being.

      Liked by 1 person

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