I finally got around to seeing Pacific Rim, and I’ve got to say it was better than I expected. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the age-old, time-tested tale of giant robots fighting giant monsters. I grew up on Gundam Wing on Toonami, and loved every second of its weird cartoon, semi-soap opera feel. A lot happier with the ending than I thought I’d have been going into it, too, so that’s a plus.
The flipside is that I’m feeling a touch under-the-weather, so I’m forcing myself to go to bed shortly. However, the post must go on. It’s only Day Four after all. Given that I watched Pacific Rim after work instead of working on this, I think my topic of choice is appropriate.
Day Four – Balancing Writing Against the Shiny Distractions
I, like many others, write on a computer. I couldn’t bring myself to use a typewriter because the number of mistakes I need to fix is pretty staggering at any given time. Case in point: I backspaced over, and rewrote, that last sentence at least five times. I also kept putting last instead of least in the sentence before this one. If typos were a currency, I’d be making it rain on a daily basis.
The obvious downfall of writing on a computer is that my computers have connections to the Internet (of course they do). I’m a bit of a self-professed Twitter addict, and I will defend that much by saying I’m following, and am followed by, some very interesting, fun people. There’s also Facebook shenanigans, making sure I didn’t get any new e-mails, and maybe checking Instagram (I still hate myself for having an Instagram). It’s even easier to switch between those distractions and my writing on my Surface 2, with everything in app form.
However, I’d argue, if only to justify my magpie-like nature, easily distracted as I am with shiny things, that these distractions are helpful to the writing process. They give my brain a needed cool-down time for when things would otherwise get a bit too intense in terms of creating. Before you call bullshit on that, hear me out. I, like many writers, get a bit immersed in my writing. The characters are, as far as I’m concerned, real people, and they’re dealing with real situations. I tend to empathize with them a bit, even if I am the all-powerful, moderately psychotic being who is throwing said characters into all sorts of situations (good, bad, ugly, cliched, and so on). There are points when I become frustrated with what I’m putting my characters through, and so I need to be able to take a step back and, you know, do other important things. Like post pictures of my cats to all the social media sites I frequent.
My cats are the cutest, damn it.
The other reason why I find distractions helpful is they provide a buffer to help me not go insane from writing-related frustrations. Maybe I’ve hit a point in the plot that I don’t know how to proceed from, or maybe I’ve found myself having issues with the way I’ve written a character the whole story (let me tell you how many pages I deleted from Joshua’s Nightmares at one point because I wasn’t happy with how I wrote one of the characters (thirty pages, by the way)). It’s better that I step back and screw around on Twitter than headbutt the wall I’ve built in my mind. After Tweeting a bit, checking Facebook, or, as mentioned yesterday, listening to the right music for my current project, and I’m ready to go.
Make no mistake, of course. I know too well the evils of distractions. The sinister nature of Netflix. The fiendish ways of Facebook. I’m resisting the urge to get all alliterative with social media, and you should all be very thankful.
The twisted truth lurking behind the mask of Twitter.
The point is that it’s far too easy to get lost in a sea of extraneous garbage while trying to create, and next thing you know it’s midnight and you have to work early the next morning. And so writing, drawing, painting, voiceover, whatever, gets put off. They can be the worst contributors to procrastination, second only to outright laziness (I mean, there are other plausible factors here, of course, but I’m over-simplifying a bit because I feel like I’m on fire and should probably be in bed sleeping). People on Twitter are, for the most part, awesome, but they’re really easy to get caught in conversations with. Same deal with Facebook chat. I also know a few people who get really caught up in wandering around Instagram, liking ALL the pictures.
Stop that. There’s time for that in the day, too, but I also know how much self-loathing comes with saying I’ll write something only to accomplish nothing that day. The sun’s finally setting, and I think it’s time I curled up in bed and got myself a-snoozin’. Wherever you are, and whatever you create, I wish all of you a pleasant, creative remainder of the evening. Try to not let it devolve into a Netflix-binge, or at least have the common decency to save me some popcorn. None of that light butter shit, though. Ninety-six days remaining.