Since I was little, I’ve had problem teeth. At eight or so, my dentist deciced that my mouth was too small for all of the teeth I had, and started pulling them. I still ended up with a canine on one side that was almost fang like, until a dentist finally filed it back at 24 or so. What it left me with though, was a horrible tooth behind it – one that was incredibly difficult to clean, and basically, ‘set the tone’ for all of the other teeth in my mouth. Before that one cracked and broke in half, I never had one problem with my teeth – now, they’re all falling apart.
On Friday, I threw a bit of a hissy fit. Like my teeth, everything I had planned was falling apart, being squished and squashed and cracked and killed off due to overcrowding. And there’s one rotten ‘tooth’ in all of that stuff – in all of the things that I do, there’s one that causes too many problems – creates too much of a drain on my time, and most of all, is setting the tone for everything else that I do.
Though, it’s probably not what you’re thinking.
As a moderator on several groups, on yahell and Facebook – I seem to spend an *inordinate* amount of time on Facebook. But that’s not even the problem. It’s the ‘side slide’ from moderating, into games that’s my problem.
And I know why too. A while ago, I stopped playing games at night. I quit my World of Warcraft guild and left, and though I’ve dabbled around with games recommended to me since, I just haven’t settled – and, my laptop, which was once the centre of both my work and play, and a great way to ensure that if I was stressed, or needed a break, that the tools were at hand, has now become predominantly work. And I feel kinda like the peons in Warcraft now. Basically, the rotten tooth is my motivation and it’s warping everything around it, and aching with guilt and burnout and whatever else you want to call it. I will, however, stop the metaphor there, because I know many people (myself included) dislike dentists 😉
Everything, bar the snatched time I spend playing games guiltily on Facebook, feels like it’s work. Except, I noticed about a week ago, that I wasn’t snatching time to play, I was playing and snatching time to write. I’d sit on Facebook, and respond to posts, and play Bejeweled, or Cooking Mama, or Farmville. And I’d wonder where my day went, when I could be writing. But even thinking that would lead to apathy. Would lead to ‘game…wooo!’.
There’s no easy way to address this, other than to accept that this is my brain’s way of saying ‘more fun pleazthanxbai’. And while my fiction writing is *supposed* to be fun, it’s not. I’m enjoying editing and copywriting, but if I’m using that to fill the time at night, instead of doing it when I get up, then, there’s a problem.
So, the schedule changes again. I work during the day – and cut myself off from Facebook and other sites. I teach myself to blog in Word, and upload when I’m done (though, ideally, I’d like a program that lets me upload posts when I come back online, so I might look into that) and most of all, I don’t spend time on Facebook (please note, my iPad and iPhone don’t cut themselves off from Facebook – quite deliberately – it’s one of the few points of messaging a couple of friends have for me. What I do tend to notice though is I can’t play games as easily on my phone/iPad. Not the games I like anyway – and I do generally forget to check in on there as often as I try to on my laptop.
I’m not sure how long this is going to take – and for once, I’m not going ‘aha, plan!’. I don’t have one.
I know I have copywriting, and editing, and three blogs to look after. Beyond that – I haven’t decided yet, and don’t have a clue when that will change – or HOW. I do know that I’m going to be selling *a lot* of my virtual real estate, and that’s probably going to be difficult, but ultimately, very good for me. How I go about that is a bit of a mystery too, but I’ll work it out.
Kai is a writer, author and avid reader. A mental health advocate, Ludosport athlete and coder. She’s the mother of two young adults, owned by two cats, and lives with her beloved in the Cotswolds.
My definition of a writer is someone whose natural response to life is to write about it. There are plenty of writers who treat writing as if it was a job and there’s nothing wrong about that but the problem is that quite often the jobbing writers make the natural writers feel that they’re doing it all wrong. As if there was a ‘right’ way to write. I’ve worked myself into the ground more than once in my life so I know where you are just now and one of the things that suffers at times like that is my writing. My ability to write is just another aspect of what makes me me. It’s no different than my ability to walk or remember or see. When under great pressure people have lost certain abilities; they go blind, or can’t walk or if they can walk they walk into rooms and can’t remember why they’re there. And while those abilities vanish others are unaffected. I didn’t write for three years at one point. I had completely worked myself into the ground and I lost the ability to write. And then, one day, I sat down and tried my hand at prose – up until then I’d only written poetry for some twenty years – and I ended up writing a novel, the first of five now along with a lot more poetry, short stories (another thing I’d not attempted) and even a couple of plays. So you never know. But those people who lose their sight or their ability to walk usually regain it once their body sees that it’s . . . I suppose the word I’m looking for here is ‘safe’ . . . safe to let them have it back. We’re very bad about neglecting ourselves – we don’t eat properly, sleep properly, exercise regularly – and we suffer because of it. And if we neglect our writing I guess it suffers too.