Playing solitaire vs. doing some writing

Of all the possible diversionary activities one could engage in to avoid writing, why do so many people choose mind-numbing, pointless games like solitaire? Solitaire and writing are both lonely pursuits, so maybe they attract the same personality types. I’m of the ilk that would happily immerse myself into the most onerous writing assignment to avoid playing a game like solitaire. Each to his or her own.

Maybe I answered my own question with the term “mind-numbing.” Are you more likely to feel sharp pangs of guilt if you do something fun like eating a tub of guacamole and watching a movie? I know that plenty of people do this when they could be writing as well, but I believe the solitaire players must have a good reason for their approach too.

My hunch is that the trance-like dissociation that solitaire provides gives a sense of relief from the feelings that the writing generates. Just enough focus to occupy a brain lobe or two and hypnotize the player into an episode of several stress-free minutes during which consciousness of the writing task fades into obscure nether-regions of the psyche.

If solitaire is your preferred mode of writing avoidance, try playing it after you’ve written rather than before, and see if you spend as much time at it.

About David Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, consultant, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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