For many a writer writing is not their daytime job. Many writers simply don’t earn enough money with writing to make it their only job. So, writing has to take a back seat and is put into the hours before and/or after work and on the weekends. It kinda makes writing a second job, but is seen by many as more of a hobby – since you don’t really need to do it.
But for people who write, not writing is not really an option. And so, we think of it as a job and by extension think of the time we do not write – the time we wish we would be writing – as procrastination. But, really, aren’t we allowed to take a break from writing sometimes?
Sure, we are. But we will still mourn all the time we lost at not writing. That’s the special paranoia of the writer’s mind. Still, we take breaks, we procrastinate. We do stuffs other than writing. Sometimes it relates to what we write, though, and we sneakily call it ‘research.’
For example, I’m revising a story right now that I’ve written (but not finished) years ago. A superhero story. I’m also playing a lot of Avengers Alliance on facebook and watch a lot of superhero movies – voila, research! Marvel universe has me kind of in its thrall right now. I rewatched most of the X-Men movies, even watched the two Hulk movies (and I actually liked Ang Lee’s Hulk better). I spend a lot of time wondering about the hero narrative, and try to incorporate that into my story.
And then, there is stuff I watch (because most of my non-writing is watching stuff on the internet) just because. The other day, I thought I haven’t watched enough movies with Mary McDonnell. So, I went on imdb.com and found out about her movies. Since, I rewatched Independence Day (Emmerich sacrificed Mary’s character to the cause, not happy about that!), watched Sneakers and Tiger Warsaw – a movie I had wanted to watch back in the days when I was a Patrick Swayze fan, but never got around to.
I actually enjoy 80s movies a lot. The time before cell phones, the big hair-dos, the clothes and the wonderfully strange visions they had of the future – our presence. Of course, I also go to the movies, and a lot of that is about the experience of it: the smell of popcorn, standing in line for tickets and snacks, sitting in a room full of strangers, feeling the excitement.
Of course, movies are not entirely unrelated to my writing. Neither is reading. The consumation of stories is fodder for my imagination. But then, what in a writer’s life is truly unattached to the imagination, the inquisitive mind, the need to know every circumstance in order to bring it to the page? Not much, maybe not anything. And maybe, even when we’re procrastinating, we’re in fact working. We’re looking at life.
But that’s enough philosophy today. So, what are you doing to relax? Do you think that everything in your life relates to writing, or am I spreading humbug?