Staying Busy

If you go on my website, you might notice all the different stuff I do – Author magazine, books, coaching, workshops, Author2Author – and conclude that I’m a busy guy. You’d be wrong. It’s the rare day when I don’t have many hours to just dink around the house. Usually I spend more time not working than working. Apparently that’s how I like it. I used to worry about this propensity of mine. I worried I was secretly lazy, that given the option I would happily do nothing. For years I attributed this to having to do stuff I didn’t want to do, like go to school and wait tables. Now, the only things I have to do are things I already want to do, things I’m paid to do that I would happily do for free. Still, I get grumpy sometimes when I have to do these things. Doing nothing seems so much more appealing.

Except it’s very hard to do nothing. For instance, I meditate every morning. Mediation is the practice of not thinking. This isn’t easy. Thinking happens and happens and happens. Since mediation is a practice, I’m actually doing something when I’m mediating. Meanwhile, when I’m not meditating, I’m thinking all the time. I’m thinking when I’m doing dishes, or driving to the store, or drinking tea. I even think when I watch television. I think, “That guy’s right,” or “He’s got it totally backwards.”

As it happens, my job – if you can call it that – requires lots of thinking. A book is just a very long thought. These essays are shorter thoughts. An interview is two people exchanging thoughts. A workshop is guided thought. Plus, I have noticed that the thoughts I think determine my daily experience far more than the weather or emails or news. My days are built of thoughts, one after the other, leading me along to heaven or hell.

Yes, those are the two destinations. I have for this reason learned that I need to be very disciplined about which thoughts I choose to follow and which I do not. My whole life depends on it. So, you see, I am actually a very busy man. In fact, I’ve been busy my whole life. Apparently, that’s how I like it.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.


Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence. You can find William at:

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