There’s a breaking point. When you have a crazy dayjob involving computers, there are times when you need to shut down. If you’re a writer who’s not only working on a new novel, but trying to get a book out which requires editing and planning and all that goodness, you sometimes need to shut that down too. I’ve been working on all of those things for 90 days straight. And yesterday? I broke.
I couldn’t get motivated to do anything. Not at my job, not at my writing, not at, well, anything. My brain was fried. My imaginary friends were talking, but I wasn’t listening. I eked about twice my required minimum word count, and then decided I was done for the day. So instead of editing last night or writing more, I went to the store, bought a video game, and vegged. I didn’t answer phone calls. Didn’t answer texts. I was simply done.
I’m more or less an extrovert. I like people for some reason. I enjoy their company which sometimes makes writing an extremely lonely profession. But even extroverts need to occasionally retreat socially, mentally, and spiritually.
When stories aren’t working, I sometimes play video games to clear my mental palate. Immersing yourself in a virtual world for a few hours can be a boon for rejuvenation. I played for 5 or so hours last night and this morning, I’m kicking ass at work and feel less brain-burned. But I think another dose is in order, because I’m not looking forward to the editing. So tonight I’ll probably engage in the same mindless, non-productive behavior.
Human beings stuff their heads full of all sorts of nonsense. Writers? Even more so. We drink in words, situations, characters, phrases, anything we see gets absorbed. At some point, all that noise has to be silenced or just plain vacuumed from the brain. A really stupid, immature game is the answer for me. And boy howdy did I need it.