We live in a world where there are more entertainment options available to us than ever before. Classic literature and contemporary writers, any television show or movie ever made ready to watch at the press of a button, music from all of human history, and games of every imaginable kind in both physical boards and digital playgrounds. All of this entertainment is why I have yet to become a reliable writer of short stories, much less a published novelist.
I wanted to write
But now I am distracted
Tree won’t punch itself
I am a writer, after a fashion. I require an environment of zero distractions otherwise my brain starts whining about wanting to so something else.
“All of your games, movies, music, websites, and fun stuff are on this computer, too. Why don’t we go do something fun?”
No, I want to get some work done.
“But we have to level up your character’s accuracy some more or it’ll take forever to kill all of those vampires for the quest!”
No! If I go do that I’ll end up burning up six hours. I know that game is a slow grind the better you get.
“How ’bout Skyrim? Let’s work on that Shield-maiden build you’ve been having fun with!”
“…what about a few more episodes of Love Death + Robots?”
I can’t watch while I’m writing, that’s not how attention works. Let me work on this story.
“I wanna watch a movie.”
NO, I don’t! I always sit there for an hour flipping through choices and three times out of five I don’t even put anything on.
“Yeah, but we do movies.”
I DO MOVIES. YOUR job is retention of details and you slack constantly so I end up having to re-watch half of the stuff I watch. The current entry is about a 20-minutes indie short, for crying out loud!
“Let’s go eat.”
Are you even my brain?!
The best part is that went I can cut myself off from all of life’s distraction I still have trouble focusing on the story, article, or review that I’m writing. I’ll get bored, antsy, annoyed, stuck, dazed, bored some more, sit there looking at the screen, again bored. I used to be able to churn out all kinds of nonsense. No, not used, I’m doing it right now. This is a genuine Nothing. I can write for hours about nothing, I should have gotten a job on Seinfeld.
I have worlds and movies and ideas swirling in my mind and my brain is constipated. Having put my frustrations onto some kind of medium, it feels like I now have a little more room in my head. Probably not enough to get my brain to stop pulling at the leash for all the instant gratification that movies, books, games, and my phone provide- my cognitive meatball has quit on me right at the end so I guess that’s it.
No wonder some of my favorite authors have a strange air about them.