Duty Calls, Should Have Gone To Voicemail

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

Note, I will return to my writing lessons from video games soon.  I’ve just had a lot of other inspirations lately.

At the start of the Christmas holiday, I had games to play, writing to do, a chance to pre-read Serdar’s next novel (spoiler, excellent), and much more.  I also had no desire to do any of these awesome things.

So I waited a week, then pushed myself.  I pushed myself through returning to work.  I pushed myself on my time off.  I even pushed myself to game, figuring something would be enjoyable.

Instead, everything I did felt like work most of the time, even things I enjoyed.  I didn’t seem to be depressed or down, just put upon.  No one was ordering me to do all this except me.

There’s a point where we turn wanting to do something into having to do something.  We truly care about something, but we build so much schedule and ritual around it that our core urge is lost.  Must replaces want.

For me, it was a feeling I had to do everything.  I had to stay on my schedule.  I had to get things done for friends and writing groups, etc.  No one told me I had to but me.  So it was time to change that.

I gave myself permission to drop anything or everything over the MLK weekend, and thought over what I wanted during a long walk.  In a day, my desires to read and create came back, I’d found the reasons I was doing these things by not doing them.  Now I find myself happier and more productive, and I’m even altering my plans for 2022.

(Interesting note, my urge to play video games came back last.  I suspect it’s changed and may write more on that).

You’ve probably had moments like this yourself.  Please, take a break and take time to reconnect with why you do things.  There’s no reason to loose yourself trying to do things, and you won’t get them done anyway.

Steven Savage