Sunday, December 12, 2010

(I gave up on the title)

I am timing myself as I write this. I've got somewhere to be in about half an hour. I'm a naturally verbose writer (with cold fingers, having just come inside from the seasonably chilly parking lot outside my apartment, so this is going to take longer), but it occurred to me that it now takes more time for me to write anything than it used to.

I'm home for the first weekend in recent memory, and I saw this as a great opportunity to get caught up on things where I was behind, and get ahead on everything else. I'd started writing a review for GameCola of Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, a PC game I've enjoyed enough to make a few multiplayer levels and share them online. The Jedi Knight games are among my favorites--one of the few "all-time favorite fandoms" I have yet to exfand upon--and I figured this weekend was a perfect time to finish off the review. I was only a few paragraphs in, but I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it.

I also knew the things I wanted to skip. If you've read my review of Mega Man 10, you know that I can go into frighteningly minute detail about anything and everything. Sometimes I get carried away, and sometimes there are things I must discuss because they tie into the reason I'm writing in the first place. With this Jedi Knight II review, I found myself gradually veering into territory that was perfectly valid for a comprehensive review, but not exactly what I had originally planned on writing about.

I also found myself four hours into writing the review and I still hadn't even started discussing the multiplayer.

How could I possibly spend half a lunch break writing a few paragraphs and then proceed to spend virtually my entire Saturday afternoon on a half-finished review that's barely two pages long, if even? What was I doing that whole time?

Listening to music. Maybe I spent too much time skipping songs I didn't want to hear.

Eating. I did have lunch and grab a snack, but those took up hardly any time at all.

Daydreaming? No, I was fairly focused.

Thinking. Yes. Trying to be funny. Sometimes the comedy flows naturally; sometimes I put something normal into place and spruce it up with hilarity later. Sometimes I just stare at a screen until a joke comes to mind. More often, I write something hysterical, only to come back later and see that it barely warranted a chuckle. Writing's funny like that. Or not funny.

I proofread and edit as I go, and though I don't catch everything, I like to finish off a paragraph and be done with it. No going back after it's written, if I can help it. I also deliberate over the slightest wording differences. Should I go for "just" or "simply"? With any luck, the things I write will be around long after I'm gone--one aspect of my life to leave behind for my hypothetical future children and anyone else who's interested--so I want to make sure I'm as articulate and comprehensive as possible so that there's never any question about my meaning or opinion.

Still, four hours? In college, that was enough writing time for 1d3 sessions of Dungeons & Dragons! I could've gotten to the next chapter of Dragon Warrior IV! I could have sorted through all those e-mails from my friends with video links to things like dancing Korean pop stars that have been piling up for months. I could have cleaned up my dining room table, washed all the dishes in my kitchen, and prepared a real meal that wasn't five bowls of cereal or a can of Chef Boyardee.

I wrote half of an OK article that's maybe sorta funny in a few places, and I'll probably look back at it next time I sit down to write and I'll want to discard half of it. Even at my most longwinded, it never took me more than three hours to write any blog post that wasn't a crazy-long introduction with pictures. Why should GameCola be any different?

Maybe it's the funny factor. As with my Mega Man commentary, I'm not always "in the zone" when I sit down for a creative endeavor. Side note: I usually want to spell that word as "endeavour." It's one of the few British spellings that just looks better to me. Or simply looks better to me. Nah, I think I'll stick with "just" this time.

Anymoogle, there have been times where I've passed up recording on an entire day of nothing for no other reason than "I wasn't feeling up to it." Yes, I could have recorded something, but I need to feel that creativity in my veins. It's different with writing--I can bludgeon words onto a page until I have something that can be read from start to finish with no problem. It might not be good, but it's there. Commentary is totally different for me, because in a blog post, there are never sudden

pauses or gaps in the writing, or, um, stuttering and, um, or that...shoot. Writing can be made to look like it's flowing even when it really isn't. And you can't hear the intonation in my voice when I'm writing to tell whether my heart's in it. Sometimes you can, I suppose, but even some of the easy fluff posts have been written with enthusiasm, just limited time.

I honestly can't tell you where I'm going with this post. This is one of those things that we occasionally write for ourselves. If you appreciate it, cool; if not, no worries--we'll come up with something more interesting soon enough. I've been quite pleased with our writing as of late, so if this is some weird hiccup, then so be it. I'm just trying to determine what the heck happened to my Saturday afternoon.

29 minutes, 44 seconds.

...Plus the unnecessary minutes I usually spend thinking of a title for my posts.

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