Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Temptation Tuesday – Internet Games

If the first step is admitting you have a problem...The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke is almost there. She'll get around to quitting after she beats her sister on Bejeweled.

Most of the time, those around us have no idea what it is we writers do on our computers. As long as the keys are clicking, they figure we're getting something accomplished. What is strange about that is the most productive time in writing a story can come when it is spinning in your brain...and the least productive time can be when the keys are clicking away...on Farmville.

I'm not knocking Farmville - I'm level 70 and trying very hard to quit now that I've topped out. These games are fun for the escapism they create. And I've 'met' some really fun people playing these games.

It all started when I joined Facebook. A speaker at my local RWA chapter said it was a must so I did...and found it rather boring. So when a friend gave me a cow as a 'gift' I started playing. I only played when I was on the phone with my mother - a non-writing time. It tended to be while the toddler was flitting about the living room during Sesame Street. Well...Sesame is an hour long and my mom can talk that long without taking a breath.

So Farmville morphed into Farm Town. Cafe World. Yoville. Mafia Wars. And eventually I was playing more than when my mom was on the phone. It was cutting into my writing time. But that was OK...I mean...my cyber crops can't be left to whither! I might get whacked if I didn't collect from my properties!

They do help you build a collection of 'friends'. And I know I've sold more than a few books just to people I interact with on the games. But it was getting to be a bit much. I knew it was a problem when I was stitting in my brother's hospital room playing Bejeweled.

Here was the pocket of time I'd always wanted - complete silence, hours to myself (my brother is lovely now by the way, and was lovely enough then thanks to some fantastic nurses and pain medication). But was I writing?

I told myself it helped calm my anxiety. It did, I felt better when I was playing. But at the end of the day I couldn't believe all my wasted time! I have so little time to write right now...and I'm worried about feeding my cyberdog.

My real dog is fabulous, and perfect for me. He can warm my feet, bark at door-to-door sales people, and provide a stepstool so the tiny one can get onto the couch. So why am I worried about treats for a cyber dog?

And I have accepted the fact that my sister is some kind of Bejeweled savant. So there is no point in me trying to be on the same scoreboard as her. It's like trying to fit into her jeans - it ain't gonna happen.

So...I'm slowly setting aside this temptation. Really. I'm going to make my farm look nice and then let it go. I'll bank all my money and then let the rival mafias do their worst. And I'm sure I'll get a lot more done because of it - even when my mother is on the phone!

Jenna has a new ebook out. Pride & Passion comes complete with a hero used to getting what he wants, a heroine determined not to give in to him, some indecent proposals, a fair amount of pride, and enough passion to burn up everyone’s control.To find out what Jenna is up to ...check out her website & blog.


  1. You think you'll be able to give them up...Ha! I've tried to cut back on some of the addictive games out there...but they lure you back!!

    BTW have you ever played FARKLE?

  2. *So* glad I'm not the only one! I've given them all up now, apart from Family Feud and that's very quick to play and not so much clicking :-)