No Fun January

It begins tomorrow. I guess I'd better define a clearer ruleset for this thing?

No Fun January is a ban on my primary distractions: gaming, YouTube, social media, Netflix/TV series and the nebulously defined category of "et cetera." I can do whatever I want, there are no production goals, no exercise regimen, no quota to be met. I can do whatever I want, but I can't do my usual distractions. I can do whatever I want, except the things I most want to do.

Or, well, that's not true. I don't really want to spend my time on distractions all that much - in fact I much more strongly want to be working all the time. But work comes with anxiety and my coping mechanism for anxiety is avoidance and avoidance means distraction and oops I spent the whole day fucking off into space in Endless Sky or binging Planet Earth for the fifteenth time.

My hope, in short, is that banning my distractions will make me engage my avoidance in more productive ways. I.e. if I feel anxiety about working on one comic, since I can't just boot up my 3DS and stop caring that way, I'll turn to another creative project for distraction. Like reading a book or making a video or podcast or writing something or, fuck, taking a long walk. I should take more long walks. It's entirely an experiment, all of this, I have no idea if it's a feasible plan or if it will work the way I want it to, I just want to see what will happen if I take away comfortable distractions and force my brain to find new ones.

Da Rulz

  1. No gaming. No PC gaming, no 3DS gaming, no Wii U gaming, no mobile gaming, no social gaming, no online Cards Against Humanity gaming, no nothing.
  2. No YouTube. No Netflix. No binging, no quick watch of something, no "this thing is viral I should see what it is," no subscribing, no liking, no nothing.
  3. No Reddit, no Tumblr, some Twitter. Twitter is key to my business, so I'm allowing myself to check and respond to mentions and DMs and the like, and I'm also allowed to post my work across social media when it's finished. But no 40 minute scrolling sessions followed by updates every 2 minutes, and no having Tweetdeck open the whole goddamn day.
  4. No pissing about. If I pick up an instrument it's to practise something, if I open the fridge it's to eat something. No aimless faffing - if I wanna do nothing, that's fine, if I wanna nap or rest, that's fine, but no flipping coins or bouncing balls or aimlessly repeating pentatonic blues scales on the guitar.
  5. I'm allowed distractions when traveling or in the bathroom or while waiting for something that precludes other activities. i.e. if I'm on the train or taking a particularly lengthy poo, I can have my phone or 3DS and fuck around as usual.
  6. Better to break any of these rules than to seriously hurt myself. If this turns out to be way too stressful maybe I'll allow myself the weekends off, or allot an hour or two per day for the distractions I'm used to. I don't foresee it getting as bad as that, but, y'know, who knows. If I'm feeling fucked up, I can relent on the rules a bit.

OK, that should do as a provisional rule-set, I think. These are more like guidelines than hard rules - because I always find a way to bend my way around hard rules. It's easy to defy the meaning of a law, much harder to defy the spirit of it.