Or at least, watch less.
“If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV,” the saying goes. The phrase comes from the Holstee Manifesto, which in itself is a pretty good read. I don’t quite agree with it completely, but that’s a discussion for another time. At first, I thought: ‘Well, that phrase could also apply to video games these days.’ I got wound up and prepared to write a blog post about how people need to turn off their consoles, unsubscribe from whatever MMORPG they had become addicted to, get off their duffs, and start doing something.
The more I thought about it, the more heavy-handed I knew it was going to be. Before I could start writing, though, I thought about the phrase just a little more, particularly in relation to my own creative life.
I had cut back on watching television several years ago; it was one of the consequences of having worked the phones at a cable company listening to TV addicts wail and gnash their teeth for 40 hours a week. My television watching had been reduced to news, weather and sports.
A few years after that, I joined a couple of other San Antonio folks in starting what came to be known as First Storm Manga. I also started writing fiction; I had long wanted to write a book about my experiences in technical support, but had never attempted to write fiction before. I liked it, and eventually decided to try my hand at self-publishing my stories in ebook format.
Unfortunately, I also ended up taking on various ‘side projects.’ I joined a band, became editor of a video game website, and First Storm began to take up more of my time. At the same time, I was trying to keep up a blog, podcast, and work on my writing. I eventually found myself spending more time on other people’s projects and less time pursuing my own.
A few months ago, I decided to cut back on those “side projects.” I had already left First Storm, so I quit the band, left a group that was putting an event together, and reduced my role at the game website. My focus would be on my own writing, and that would be it.
I will be stepping down as editor of Original-Gamer.com at the end of November, and I wish OG and the crew nothing but success as I pursue my goal of being a writer full-time.
Back to the saying. I thought it over, and felt it would be a bit hypocritical of me to say ‘stop playing videogames’ when I still play them myself. I also still watch television, just not as much. Then it came to me:
It isn’t a matter of “stop watching TV” or “stop playing video games.”
It’s a matter of “Stop letting other things get in the way of your dreams.”
Now get off your duff! 🙂