I Gave Up Fun In Order To Write
Fallout 4 just came out. Everyone loves it, they are talking about it on chat threads I'm in, they are talking to each other about it, leaking spoilers aplenty. I know one day I'll play it. Probably.
But I can't play it now, because I'm writing. I can't watch movies, because I'm writing. I can't really leave the house that much, because I'm writing.
Full-time authors will say, "Of course you can! It's important to take a break, get inspiration, go out and see the world!"
Well, I'm not a full-time author. I have a full-time job, two kids, a dog, a wife who likes to see me every once in awhile, and a house that needs taking care of.
I only have room for one extra-curricular activity at a time and so I've chosen writing, over everything else.
It would certainly be a lot easier to get invested in a new series on Netflix, or catch up on all the video games I've missed the past year. I'd loaf around like a human vegetable, and enjoy every time-wasting minute of it.
I know this, because it's what I used to do. After a long day of sitting at a computer writing code, who wants to do more sitting and writing?
I made the mistake of playing Shadowrun: Hong Kong recently, and really enjoyed it. But after awhile I realized I hadn't written anything for two weeks, and getting back into the habit of writing after a two week hiatus was so hard that I realized my mistake:
Writing is all about momentum. Once you've lost momentum, you get bored with the story, and you give up. While you're writing that first draft, you have to make it your job (or second job, in my case). You have to cut out all other distractions and focus on getting those words down on the page.
Reading being the sole exception here, since reading and writing go so well together, and the one feeds appreciation for the other.
But I will confess I even cut out reading while I was writing this 150,000 word monstrosity. I just didn't have the time for it, and was afraid that I'd absorb too much of another author's voice mid-stream and suddenly the book would feel like it was written by two different people. So, to give myself more time to write and to keep a consistent voice throughout, I didn't read anything for six months.
Once you finish, however, that's when it's time to celebrate. That's when it's time to give yourself a little vacation, and waste time with all of those things you've been putting off.
At least so that when someone mentions Fallout 4 locations in-game, you'll know what they are talking about.