Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time Suckage

One of the biggest obstacles for my writing. It's not writer's block, it's not a lack of creativity or ideas. It's time suckage (I have to give my mom credit for this word). You know, you have free time and you think, rather ambitiously, "I'm going to write for hours!" So you sit down in front of your computer and before you can even open your document you think, oh, I'll just do a few other things first...Next thing you know it's been three hours and you haven't written a word. (Oh, and by "you" I mean "me." Unless you do this too, in which case, I do mean you.) Here's a play-by-play of how my time gets sucked away:

I sit, well, lie down, on my unmade bed, determined to work on Banished.

But first I have to check facebook. Read status updates, look at new pictures, like a few posts. Maybe write on a few friends walls. Update my own status.

Well, now I should just check my e-mail, real quick. Might as well check my other account, see if I got any blog comments.

Check Twitter. Only to see my favorite author's updates. Think about updating my own and then remember that no one cares. My best friend is pretty much the only person who reads it because it goes to her phone. She already knows what I'm doing anyway.

Hmm, do I have enough to pay the electric bill? Better check my bank account. Wait, how much was that electric bill? Better check. Ooh, and the credit card bill is due soon. Check that too. Add electric bill and credit card bill. Add rent. Add water bill. Cry.

I'm not a big fan of myspace, but I should probably make sure I don't have any friend requests or something. Check myspace.

Turn on t.v. Spend ten minutes trying to find something suitable to watch.

Dog is whining at the foot at the bed. Must take dog out. Feed dog.

Okay, am going to write now.

Cat is meowing, she's freaked out by the reflections of light on the ceiling coming through the blinds. Make cat go in the living room.

Show is on commercial. Flip channels some more.

Cat is meowing again, wants to go out on the porch. Get up, let cat out.

Get back in bed. Now dog is whining and wants to be picked up and put on bed.

Hmm, should check the Query Tracker forum. And read some blogs. Okay, now I'm ready to write.

But...I'm pretty tired. I have been up and working since 7 this morning. Maybe I'll just take a little nap....ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Given that this is my typical routine, it's kind of amazing that I've managed to write an entire book at all. Plus I left out the many, many games of Bejeweled I've gotten sucked into playing. Not to mention the time I was on a huge Farm Town kick. Add the fact that I'm not the fastest writer to begin with.It seems like I get sucked into the time trap every time. Is it a lack of self-control on my part? Can I blame technology which has given me so many other things to pay attention to and participate in?

Bejeweled is perfection for avoiding thinking, although I wouldn't suggest playing. You will end up a crazy, sleep-deprived writer who isn't writing.

I think you have to approach time suckage just as you would any addiction. You have to admit that you are a time sucker. You have to realize that certain things, like Bejeweled, are nothing but time suckers, and will never be anything else. Playing a hundred games of Bejeweled will never accomplish anything, even if you get the high score.

So, I've taken the first step. I admit that I have a problem. I know that I'm never going to be able to not check my facebook or my e-mail, but my new resolution is to spend only half an hour on-line before I write, visiting websites in order of priority. Naps, well, they might still have to happen. But. I'm setting an alarm.

And, sorry, Bejeweled, but we're done. I just don't think we're good for each other.


Deb Salisbury said...

LOL! Yes, time suckage is a problem. I have to set a timer. Half hour to sprint through the blogs I read, ten minutes for QueryTracker, ten minutes for Forward Motion. Then I have to turn off the internet. Period. It doesn't leave much time for comments. (Hmm, almost zip!)

Thank goodness I don't have a tv. One problem solved. ;-)

Shelley Sly said...

Oh yes, by "you" you really do mean me. I'm the same way. I have the desire to write, but so many things keep distracting me... and then I just end up (subconsciously) finding excuses not to write. It's terrible.

Lydia Kang said...

I have a serious problem with time suckage. But it just comes down to the fact that I can't write unless I have a large block of time--2-3 hours at least. That way I have a buffer for time suckage. But I need to be like Deb and just turn all the other stuff off!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Hey, found your blog from QT. Love the post since I suffer from time suckage too. I should be doing revisions instead I'm doing anything but sometime. QT, blogging, more QT. Oh and I had to stop myself playing Bejeweled too. It's too addictive.

DaniSue said...

Thanks! I've been so good, I haven't played Bejeweled at all in over a week.