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I logged on this morning for the first time in over a week to see if a Twitter post was an April Fool’s Gag. Sadly, it was, and logging off again provided a quite fundamental realisation. Once upon a time I would have played on Easter Sunday and scheduled real life around that activity. Now, arranging to game only takes place when real life allows. A phrase from yesterday’s Blog post keeps popping back into my head, demonstration of how, for most people, this game now functions. Warcraft is not the material of their existence, but the thread that stitches various other pieces together. I am no longer that kind of player: no need to go and salute a pet for a Feat of Strength, or complete the Darkmoon Faire when it spawns so I can max out professions. If there is time, it will be done but there’s no problem if I don’t.

Except there’s this guilt which won’t go away that by doing so there’s no longer means to properly relax in my virtual world.

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To find a proper way to relax, there needs to be an understanding of what is preventing that from happening. The major one is my first novel, which is now close to being done: I’ll give it one more week and then it can go off to my devoted bunch of alpha readers, who will wade through the buggy material and pronounce whether they’d read it like this live. There are then some personal issues at home which need to be addressed: after that, making time is the other limiting factor. Because there aren’t raid groups to be a part of and only my own desires that remain unsatisfied, it becomes an exercise in reward. Right now, nothing in-game matters more than the stuff that exists outside.

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It doesn’t help that I’ve injured myself, either, and using a mouse is more painful than I’d like currently to accept. All of this, however, is largely incidental. If it mattered enough, I’d be in-game now. It doesn’t because writing and thinking needs to come first.

I need to stop guilting myself, and work out what really matters most.

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