Something Out of Nothing

I like making something out of nothing.

Creating stuff feels good. It’s meaningful. It’s productive.

But despite all that, it’s just so easy to procrastinate. In this age of constant stimulation from tv, the internet, video games, Facebook, you name it, it’s simple to just plunk down on the couch and soak in other people’s ideas. I love wasting time just as much as the next guy–in fact, I waste way too much time playing Skyrim, checking my news feed for status updates, and watching Chopped.

In fact, I’m addicted to Foodtv and have been for years. Sometimes it’s just background noise, a backdrop to writing or working on MisCon stuff. But more often, it’s just a fun distraction that derails me from getting things done. Guy’s Big Bite is on right now, but I’m not really watching it.

My friend Amy made Gianna's fantastic Yoda hat so she could wear it to MisCon 25!

One tip that works for me: decide to spend 5 minutes doing nothing except brainstorming. Being a writer, it’s easy enough for me to take a break from my day and just start writing. You never know what might bubble to the surface in that 5 minutes. And if you’re lucky enough to hit on some good story ideas or figure out where your story should go next,  you’ll feel like you did something meaningful.

It’s like building a wall one brick at a time.

So today, I’m not going to play Skyrim, and I’m not going to have the tv on all day. Nope. I’m going to listen to Pandora while I get some business paperwork done this morning, and I’ll work on my novel this afternoon.

What about you? Do something creative today and you’ll probably feel good. You might nudge yourself into feeling so good that you get back to work on a project you’ve been putting off. You might build the motivation to make something out of nothing.

Then once you’ve done that, go kill some bandits in Skyrim!

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

6 Replies to “Something Out of Nothing”

  1. Kill your TV! I refrained from watching TV for a whole year in 2007. It helped I didn’t have one, and when I did get one it only worked for movies. It was probably the most productive year of my life. I brainstormed every day. Instead of coming home and plopping down on the couch to watch TV (with dinner in my lap) I taught myself how to cook. I exercised. I figured out what I would do with myself for the rest of my life and started college. I attribute all of this to stopping watching TV. While I started back up last year I watch a lot less than I used to. I am still guilty of using it to fall asleep to, which is apparently terrible for your sleep cycle.

    1. Thanks Dan! I appreciate you tossing my blog out there–it got me reading some pertinent blogs. You’re the man, Dan. I haven’t talked to you much in person, but online you are quite erudite and funny. You should do more at MisCon. Plus, I like Gina quite a bit–you got a goo done there.

  2. I have to actively choose to keep the TV off or not play Fruit Ninja on my phone…or Skyrim on my Xbox. Today I managed to get a 2,000 word summary of my novel done for a conference next week and finish up an initial polish on draft three of said novel. I also made a stew from scratch and puttered about on the internet for a while…but there you go.

    Great blog and great motto, by the way. 😀

    1. Thanks, Emmie! It has been a while since you posted this, but I foolishly thought I had responded before (and apparently didn’t . . .). I have since been reading your blog and really enjoy it. I’m impressed that you can whip out such extensive posts every damn day. Plus, you like Karl Pilkington, so you must be cool.

      Good luck with your submissions. I know how stressful that process is.

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