“But People Are So Busy…”

I don’t believe that. What are we so busy doing? People say that everyone is in such a hurry today, they have kids that have to get dropped off to after-school activities or sports. But wait, they’ve always done that. Are kids now on six or eight teams instead of the one or two they always were on?

I don’t buy it. I think saying “But people are so busy…” is a convenient way to excuse why we don’t write that letter, or send that card, don’t start writing that novel we say is in us, burning trying to get out. Or learn the guitar or exercise. “Who has the time?” It’s the excuse why we don’t have to do anything.

But we have time for Netflix and our phones and emails and texting and checking our computers for the 67th time today.

People have asked me, “Who has time for film photography now that digital is so much quicker?” What are they saving that time for? When are they going to use some of this extra time?

I don’t think they ever will. Because just like a garage or storage room fills up based on the size of the garage or storage room, the amount of time we have is finite, but the ways that we fill it, saying we’re soooooo busy–that to me is just a convenient excuse for why I don’t want to bother writing that letter, mailing that card or starting on that novel. Why I’ll never start playing the guitar or exercise.”

“Because, I’m so busy!” There, done! Alright, where’s the remote. Oh, my phone just buzzed!

I’m not too busy. I don’t find “busy” to be the goal like it seems many people embrace. Ask any photographer how work is, and I bet they say, “So busy.” Of course they say that, otherwise they look like they’re not keeping up. Not making it. Must not be successful. We equate productivity with success.

We’re a society of worker bees. Busy, working, buying, working, buying. Then TV and phones, tablet and sleep. Repeat.

Yes, I have some shoots, but not every day. I certainly spend some time each day marketing my work to new potential clients. (That’s the bulk of the job of a photographer these days.) But I’m not that busy. I have time to create my art, too. I write. I make photographs. I am working on a stand-up comedy routine. I produce a daily photography podcast and a weekly photography YouTube talk.

Where do I get the time? How come I’m not too busy? It’s true I’m not a TV watcher. I don’t plop down on the couch and watch sports and give away every weekend to the game–at least until the finals, then maybe I’ll catch the World Series or SuperBowl.

I don’t have kids, but I’m not the only one without kids, so I don’t count that as a valid excuse. And I have friends whose kids are grown and moved out of the house, and they’re still too busy. I think we find time for the things we want to do.

It’s okay with me if someone wants to watch TV or text all day, just say that’s what you do to fill your time, and don’t claim to be “too busy” for things that you say you want to do but can’t because there’s just no time.

If it’s a priority, it’s a priority. I make my creativity a priority because I enjoy it. My father has asked me before, when I mention I am going out to the coffeeshop or pub to write, why don’t I take a day off? Because he equates writing with work. With homework, or something of a chore. Not fun. But that’s not it at all for me. I love to write. I love to make photographs.

I live to create.

To me being a creative is living, and to live is to create. And I’m simply not too busy to live.

And sometimes a lake is my office view when I write outside.

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