Blogger Karōshi

The New York Times has an article about blogging yourself to death (Richtel, Matt, “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop,” 6 April 2008). The Japanese, for whom this is not a new phenomena, actually have a word for death by overwork: Karōshi.

Matthew Yglesias asks what’s the big deal? (“Death by Blog,”, 6 April 2008). “…[T]o me the most draining times are really those times when I’ve undertaken substantial work on top of the blog.” I, on the other hand, have undertaken a blog on top of substantial work. I’m not a full-time blogger. I have a 40 — okay, more like 50 or 60 — hour a week job. I blog over my lunch break — when I take one — and in the evenings. Often times I feel like I have two jobs. Writing even a few posts is, for me, very time consuming. I get home in the evening and think, “Now it’s time to start my second job.” It frequently takes me a couple of late nights to finish a post and when the end is in sight, I often chase the mirage of finishing until dawn and the horror of birds chirping (Quoth the raven, “Time to get your ass to work”). Back in 2005 I ran a few queries and found that my average post was made between 10:00 at night and 6:00 in the morning (“Hundredth Post: Taking Stock,” smaties (first series), 18 January 2005). I would provide some current stats, but the new blog has a lot more complex a data model than what I developed.

I’m not griping — I’m just riffing. I do it to myself: I’m a wannabe intellectual with a boring day job. I wish I were a writer and I am desperate for a little intellectual exercise. The problem is that by depriving myself of as much sleep as I am, I am incurring as much brain damage as I am engaging in brain stimulation.

And Mom: I turned off comments not to thwart open thread on your concern for my health, but because of a recent rash of comment spam.