One of my major procrastination/leisure activities is of course video games. I do enjoy many of the audio/visual spectacles of the newer ones, but I also dig a classic old game sometimes too. One that I played the heck out of when I was in university, and was then delighted to find a port of for my current system, is a game called Championship Manager 97/98. It’s a football management simulator; basically you pretend to be in charge of a European football club.
Of course I enjoy the sports part of the game, but – perhaps inevitably – that’s not all that I like about the experience. In my current game, I’m far enough into things now that nearly all the real-world players have retired and so the game is populated by a bunch of fictional athletes. Essentially, nothing more than names.
Except that I know about all of them. I know what they all (on my team, definitely, and some on others) look like, I know their personalities, I know about their lives outside the game. Because, of course, I have to fill in all these things while I’m playing the game, because that’s how my writer brain works. It’s part of how I know that I will never stop writing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing in general, lately, as I guess you can probably tell from the tone of the last few blogs. I didn’t have a terribly productive summer. The Eager Volunteers have noticed that I haven’t sent them anything in quite a while. The process of finding a home for Heretic Blood is, well, still in process.
I have, from time to time, wondered if I should just call it a day. Like, I don’t support myself with my writing, and very few people would notice if I just didn’t do it any more. Maybe I could just leave it. Maybe I should.
But, of course, I will never stop writing. I know my writer brain will always find some way to do what it wants to do. I have extensive backstories for all three Dungeons and Dragons characters that I’ve played this summer that will never come up in the game. I have all the places in the Star Wars RPG that I gamemaster that my players will never visit, the NPCs they will never meet (along with the ones they do, and have). I have all those details of my imaginary football players’ lives.
So not writing is not really an option for me. Whether I will, or can, do it in any kind of professional capacity is certainly questionable. It probably doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t. There is, I fear, a parallel with my running: I am not by any stretch of the imagination a competitive runner. My times at any distance are nothing remarkable. But, I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy the act of being out on the road.
In the end, maybe that’s what writing will be for me. Playtime with words. I’m honestly not sure, at this moment. Expectations are perhaps being managed. Not as fun as managing imaginary football players, but probably more worthwhile.
I am sure I’ll never stop writing, whether it is another novel, or the story of a person perhaps only I will ever meet.
Thanks for reading.