The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. So:
I admit have a problem with an app. Not just any app, a game app on my phone that takes up an inordinate amount of my time.
The app advertises itself as a tool to exercise your brain and stave off dementia. It involves words, so … sounds beneficial, right? Except I’ve become so good at it, I can do it rather mindlessly while watching TV. My brain could atrophy and I could slide into dementia today, but I’m quite certain I would still be rather adept at it. I’d forget what a spoon is, but my fingers would instinctively and proficiently play that darn game.
I don’t even want to think about how much time I spend on it—mindlessly earning game coins that I can’t buy anything useful with—except other game coins.
But I have had an epiphany. Every time I reach for my phone to play that game, I am going to think of the word “write.” What if that time I spent playing the game was transformed into writing time?
I know the time of day when I typically reach for that game, so I can easily imagine doing something more useful: writing, thinking about writing, watching a webinar on writing, reading about writing, honing my writing craft, analyzing books in the genre I am writing in.
When writing isn’t your main job, and it’s not translating into a paycheck at the moment, it’s easy not to prioritize it. There are other things to do. But honestly, some of those other things … are they really worth doing? Think about how much closer to your writing goals you’d be, if you spent more time writing or reading about improving your craft. Even if it’s just a little more time. So:
- Game app = writing.
- Log writing time. (I’m going to use a nice calendar for that.)
- Set goals (my own writing deadlines, submissions, etc.).
Think of a useless, veg-out type of activity that’s wasting your time. Maybe it’s that second hour on the couch watching TV. Imagine turning off the TV, and then choosing to do something very specific: I am going to set the timer and do 20 minutes of free writing on anything that pops into my head. I am going to search for submission opportunities. I’m going to pull out an old manuscript and change the POV. …
Cheers to a more productive writing journey!