I made a new rule for myself. Before, my rule was that I could go on the internet as long as I wanted, so long as I’d already done my writing for the day. Now, my rule is that I can go on the internet for the same amount of time I spent writing, only the amount of time I spend writing, aside from a cursory email check for business letters.
It’s a subtle change. I never would have changed except I noticed that an unlimited amount of internet time cut back on my “recharging” time. And I noticed that after a day of perusing the web till my eyes oozed, I was less productive the next day. Drained, actually. Dulled.
Now. I’m not going to use this as a chance to slander the Evils of Technology and go on a rant about carpel-tunnel in teenagers who spend their days mastering Halo 3. I do want to talk about recharging. About the importance of it.
All writers have a need to be curious and to fill that curiosity. Writing fills the curiosity. Time not spent writing creates more curiosity and a strong hunger to continue filling it. All the things that people tell you to do for inspiration – read other fiction, take walks, try something new – this all makes us want to explore our own fictional worlds more fully. This makes us more hungry. This makes us crave.
I heard some British author talk about how she was bored as a child and spent a lot of time being bored, and she thought more kids should be allowed to get bored. I understood where she was coming from. Being bored is why I started writing fiction in the first place. The hunger is so much stronger when you’re bored. The need to create and explore is an almost overpowering desire, one that morphs into fantasies, and new worlds, and eventually, stories.
I think something about the web discharges that nervous energy and satisfies the curiosity before it ever has a chance to bubble. My mind stops craving and I stop thinking about my novel. The next day, I want to write, but I don’t need to write.
Have any of you ever experienced something like this? I'm curious what you all think about the boredom thing, as well.
- Creative A