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Time Slipping By

To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, "Time is a face on the water." Sometimes it is still and serene. Sometimes it ripples gently. Sometimes it rushes away from you and disappears altogether. Right now, time is slipping by faster that I want it to.

I recently twittered that, occasionally, I regret being an author because as an author I have no time to really get into MMORPGs. I speak from experience when I say I really adore MMOs. The last one I played was AION and partly because I did some writing work on it. I also speak from experience that I cannot both really play MMOs while being an author. I can do one or the other but not both.

There was a period in my life where I would come home from the day job and log onto the MMO I was into. Then I would play it for a minimum of five hours every night. Sometimes more but no less. And on weekends, it was all MMO all the time. Did I write during this time? A little—mostly stuff for the MMO I was in. Character fiction. Play writing. Nothing real. Nothing in my own world. My head was in the MMO and I was happy.

Mostly.

That is why I made the conscious decision to stop playing MMOs to work on my writing career. Video games are too much of a time sink for me. When I played Oblivion, I lost about three months of good writing time. I still wrote. I was that disciplined. I got my hour of writing a day in but the rest went to the video game instead of the usual 3-4 hours of writing and 1-2 hours of stuff writers have to do around the actual act of writing.

I was able to play AION most recently because I only played it with my husband. I did not join a guild, legion or any other social group. I know such social interactions is what keeps people playing the game. By limiting myself to solo (or near solo) play, I limited the enjoyment of the experience. On purpose. Thus, when my husband got bored, I was able to walk away and not look back.

But there are days when I wish—how I wish—I could lose myself in an MMO. But time is a precious thing to me and I don't have that much of it. I would have to give up my writing and editing career for the MMO. The trade off is not worth it. I enjoy my career too much to give it up for a game.

We all have choices on what to do with our time. Writing is my top priority. That's the way it has to stay.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sinanju
Oct. 8th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
I understand completely. I used to be deeply involved in a number of online RPGs. Mostly on livejournal, where it was really more like collaborative fiction than a game. I did a lot writing, but it was in the game and seldom had much plot.

I enjoyed it immensely, and I miss it still. I know that I shouldn't let myself get sucked back into that stuff; I need to concentrate on my own writing. But it was wonderful fun.
kvtaylor
Oct. 9th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
I feel this--all of it. There was a time when I lost months of my life to an MMO too (EverQuest FTW!), but then it comes down to family and career and, yeah.

I still play (LotRO), but not all the time. I go through crazy bursts of MMO activity between big writing projects, in the downtime while I work on short fiction and editing projects--and only after goals are met for those daily! But with a schedule like yours, there's not even time for that :/

It's wonderful to just get lost in a world and not have to think too hard about it--the appeal for a writer, especially one of fantasy, is undeniable. But when you're serious, that's the decision that has to get made. Mad respect.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )