An Indie Divided: Thoughts on NYT’s “The Busy Trap”

This post is brought to you by another Twitter gem. An article from the New York Times titled “The Busy Trap”  has been passed around between the folks that I follow, so I thought I’d. Htake a look. Oh man. This is a lot to chew on, especially this musing by author Tim Kreider:

“My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love.”

Choosing time over money? Say what, now? Can it be done? “How many random jobs have you had?” A co-worker asked me this question the other day and as I rattled off a laundry list of odd jobs, I realized that I am always putting more value on the dollar than my time . In fact, I even rouse myself out of bed by insisting that if I take the day off, even if it is to work on personal side project, I’ll miss out on a chunk of much-needed dollars and cents. But if I want to spend the rest of my years showcasing the work of new filmmakers as a festival programmer, I’ve got to take back control of my time.

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between two schools of though. On one hand, there’s the belief that we all have to pay our dues. However, life is too short so you you might as well do what you love and do it often. I look at my eight hours a day spent inside a cubicle and repeat a daily prayer that one day, one day in the future I will have a say in just how busy I want to be. The article also struck a chord because it brought back the lessons learned from writing my first script back in January. I too fell into the “busy trap”. Was swimming in outlines worth missing out on outings with friends or going for a walk on a nice day? Since I don’t have a completed script in my hands as of today, probably not. Yes, we’re all busy but as a person aspiring to build a creative career, I’m often asking myself “Where is the X on the map?” What am I working towards?

Realistically, here are the options I see for myself:

  • Fulltime film related position that is flexible in scheduling and essentially feels like a side project
  • Cush non-film related day job that leaves time/brainpower for film side projects after 5pm/weekends
  • Take on freelance/contract gigs part of the year for someone else to save up enough money to take the rest off to do my own thing
Like I said, I’m still mulling over this read. I’m weeks away from ditching the corporate cubicle for a film festival contract assignment, but there’s still the future to think about too. You can read the full article HERE, if you’ve got the time to spare, of course.
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One thought on “An Indie Divided: Thoughts on NYT’s “The Busy Trap”

  1. […] so it’s clear from the recent New York Times’ article “The Busy Trap”, there are just not enough hours in the day and critical choices have to made in how we balance our […]


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