I’m beginning to wonder if I have a word count per day.
I have taken of late to notice that my writing schedule, while still well in advance of now (indeed, this was written months from ‘now’ as you read this) is still being heavily impacted by the Everything that’s happening right now. So again, if you’re reading this in the future, by the time I wrote this, the sharks with legs hadn’t started raiding the coastal cities yet.
The thing is, some of the elements infringing on my time are expected; I’m sharing workspace with another human, which means I’m very selfconscious about doing any recording. After all, while they work, they may get a phone call; while I’m at work I need them to be quiet so I can talk to my students, and the result is that I feel like a real asshole asking for even more quiet if I want to say, goof around with an audio recording to see how well it goes. Add to this that I’m trying to proactively stay in contact with people remotely who I know aren’t having a good time.
Still, I did notice that when I fell into City of Heroes hard and into World of Warcraft briefly (not since Wardads of Draenor, don’t worry, I haven’t caught up), and even into the family Minecraft server I run, that my writing output was just reduced. I don’t think it’s quite so simple as ‘MMO time eats writing time.’ I think it’s a cousin to this: That time spent playing an MMO is very time-consuming, effort-light, and it’s not doing anything that inspires me to write.
I write a lot in MMORPGs. I write backstories and character builds and guides to how they work and test out tables and spreadsheets. I have a list of characters based on their favourite colours, foods, and disney movies. It’s not like I don’t create when I’m playing these games. I just don’t feel that what I’m creating is interesting to you or worth sharing.
Which is interesting in itself. I do not sit here on high, with this immense swell of knowing to share. I know that my knowledge and memory and my experiences and indeed, my writing, are all parts of this interdependent machinery. Inspiration is not an idea appearing in the dark, but rather the process of a long sequence of semi-random testing and experimentation to see hang on, what do I think other people will find interesting?
I don’t think you want to read that much about my City of Heroes characters. That’s why I only post about them once a month and rarely on-theme with the month. I don’t think you want to hear that much about Jimmy Buffett albums, so again, one a month. I try to keep the D&D content per-book spaced out. All these things are helpful guides to me to remember that what interests you is part of what I do.
This is why I ask ‘hey, what do you think I should write about?’ or ‘any requests?’
And hey, those are useful.