(Lori Myers writes engaging content and customized resumes with the goal of perfecting keyword saturation. Her mission is to save princesses and play Super Nintendo like it is still 1994. Connect with her at www.resumescoach.net or on Facebook.)
You have been writing for hours every single day, but today is different somehow. No matter how many times you stare at your blank screen, the words never come. If you are a writer, you have certainly been here before.
Your to-do list is a mile long, and the dishes are piled up. You try to focus, try to think exclusively about your topic, but all you can think about is the bills that are due tomorrow and if you remembered to order more printer ink.
You are experiencing the bane of every writer’s existence, the thorn in each of our sides.
What you are experiencing is stupid writer’s block.
If you are not the holistic type, you will be thrilled to know that the road to inspiration and motivation is not always filled with meditation, tea, yoga, unicorns, or even rainbows.
For me, the road to inspiration and motivation is found only in video games.
Whenever lackluster writing and anxiety-induced procrastination strike me, this magical, miraculous cure spurs me into action. In fact, even without being caffeinated, video games are usually enough to spark an idea or ten far quicker than something significantly more awe-inspiring. Here are five ways in which video games assist in blocking my writer’s block.
- Being a video game hero means you can also be your own. I like to think that princesses do not actually need a hero to save them. I use my anger and will to destroy the patriarchy and get to work on saving video game princesses from whatever evil villain is holding her captive. I imagine every video game kidnapping victim as simply needing help in breaking the glass ceiling. Once the end credits start, I urge myself to rock whatever needs to be written like the badass that I am.
- Gaming gives me focus. Whenever life’s distractions get the best of me, I give myself the gift of playing a game. While games are considered immature at best, the focus it gives me helps me to hone in on whatever task needs to get done. A role-playing game is best for regaining my focus, as the many puzzles, mini-games, and castle bosses help me to tackle many smaller tasks just like in real life. This works for me to get things done instead of letting my anxiety pull me in a million different directions.
- Video games calm my anxiety. If you have ever received a rejection, you know what imposter syndrome and anxiety can do to your professional confidence. Video games, although obviously not real, give me a sense of accomplishment that I then transfer to an assignment.
- Video game plots replicate the monotony of writing. Writing content can be tedious and may become monotonous, particularly if you are writing content or copy about the same exact thing over and over in one day. With video games, you are performing the same moves, the same jumps, and the same tasks repetitively throughout, just with a slightly different goal or path along the way. Playing a game somehow gives me the creativity to write about the same exact topic for the umpteenth time but with a different spin.
- Losing lives can make me angry enough to complete my work. Sure, there are times where I have been tempted to chuck my vintage SNES controller across the room. After seeing that the game is over because my character ran out of lives, I take my frustration and churn out tons of anger-fueled content instead. No word yet on if this is emotionally healthy, but it works.
- My writing is better after a game session. Writer’s block is not always the problem. I recall several instances when I have written something, but my brain wasn’t functioning at its full capacity and what I wrote was far too horrible to turn in. Whenever I finish gaming, my words flow well together and are nearly Shakespearean in comparison to my pre-gaming content.
Writer’s block may cause your mind to wander towards the overflowing hamper of dirty laundry, or even to scheduling the dentist appointment you have been putting off for weeks. Sinister anxiety may creep up with its best friend, imposter syndrome, just in time to tell you that your words and ideas are not good enough, further causing the creative juices to drain right out of you.
You are good enough. Your ideas are brilliant, even if so-and-so said they do not have the budget for a freelancer right now after agreeing to pass along your pitch. Laundry, dishes, and that article can wait. Right now, it is time for you to play a video game.