Today I’m going to post something a little bit not-so-book related, but I’m going to tie it back to the art of writing, I swear.
With the recent release of Pokemon GO, I’ve spent a lot of time sitting and thinking about the way people can get so addicted to things. Because this game lends itself so much to the potential of addiction and obsession: you have to play it constantly, you collect things, it’s so conveniently on your phone, it’s got a social aspect and a community surrounding it.
A few years ago, I would have totally joined in and let myself get addicted to the game, but I’ve got this new life philosophy over the past couple of years, where I am very aware of how being so attached to something can be so debilitating to developing my personality.
I used to be addicted to musicals. That sounds so stupid, and it was. I was always at the theatre, I wanted to be the one people approached to ask what they should go see in Toronto. I wanted to be the very best, like no one ever was.
And this goes for all fandoms. I am a geek. I fangirl about many things, and there is a total appeal of being “the biggest fan” of something. Having all the merch, watching all the episodes, meeting all the cast members at conventions – doing it all to say that you have done it all and yes, this is proof that you are the biggest fan of something. Or the best at a game. Or even reading the most books.
I became aware of how damaging this lifestyle was to me and how it conflicted with how I wanted to live my life as a whole. It was a waste of money, time, and attention to put everything I had towards getting this make-believe title for one particular thing that apparently would define me. And I don’t want to be defined by one thing. I am not Doctor Who. I am not musicals. I am not books. I am not a Pokemon master. I am a full person with a number of likes and dislikes, and they all contribute to who I am and what I spend my time doing.
As someone who wanted to be a writer (see, told you I’d circle it back around), I couldn’t love one thing. Writers write about what they know and love, and how could I be a writer if I only knew about one thing? I needed to broaden my experiences, try new things, expand my horizons… experience life as a whole – not try to excel at one thing that ultimately means nothing.
This is just me. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who are totally committed to being the most well-read book blogger, or being the president of a fan club, or having the highest level of a rare Pokemon. It’s just not something I want to spend my time achieving.
I want a diverse set of experiences. Sometimes I have an addictive personality and I need to get that in check so I don’t fall down the rabbit hole, but it’s definitely worth the effort to make sure I get out and try new things, because it’s what ultimately makes me happy, keeps me grounded, and inspires me.