Am I the only Crime Writer out there Addicted to Spider Solitaire?

Am I the Only Crime Writer out There Addicted to Spider Solitaire?

I can sit at my desk with the current mystery I’m working on open in one screen, and all too easily switch screens, and say that I’m going to allow myself only one game. Then two. And so it goes. I’m addicted.

When I’m feeling generous to myself,  I call my obsession with Spider Solitaire a kind of thinking, plotting, planning, letting my mind run on idle while I think up the next brilliant twist in my new Santa Monica mystery.  But I know different. I’m addicted. Something about lining up the cards in an orderly row soothes me.

After all, it’s not as if I feel the world is breathless with anticipation for my next mystery.

My brain gets itchy and restless after I’ve focused down hard on writing. I’ve already twitched back and forth from my Facebook pages to Twitter to email just to see what’s going on. Like there’s ever anything going on with Twitter.

In an effort to limit my Spider Solitaire addiction, I placed a five minute timer on my desk, the old fashioned kind where sand runs through from one compartment to another. Of course, you have to set it to run. And remember to do it.

Yes, I know there is software which helps you limit the amount of time you spend on internet gambling, cybersex, video game addiction, and surfing for porn.  But I’m not that bad!

I tell myself Spider Solitaire is a procrastination tool. And so is Facebook and Twitter. I must have some modicum of self-discipline because I’ve stayed away from Pinterest and any other latest internet craze.

Anything to delay the agony of writing. Perhaps you’re familiar with that great yawning space on the page below your last good sentence?

While I’m trying to work the plot kinks out of my next crime fiction novel, I’ve written
5 10-20,000 word EBooks on the topic of “Writing Your First Mystery. They include Plotting, Editing, Creating Killer Characters, Finishing…and now “Writing Backstory in Your Mystery Fiction.”

I’m working on a first draft of two mysteries; one set in Santa Monica, one set in the tranquil village where I live in the mountains in Central California. I’m working on two at once because the theory was that when one got hard I could turn to the other. That’s what they say at least.

Guess what?  They’re both hard.

In the end, after three or four games, it all comes down to self-discipline, rooting myself in my chair, opening the document file and reading over the last horrible bit of stilted writing that lays there inert on the page. I poke at it for a while.

I know that if I dig through the mess long enough, something will catch fire. I will find myself inserting a comma. Then I’ll rearrange a sentence, and maybe the next paragraph isn’t that bad.

Oh! Something twitched in my brain. Ah, an idea. And sometimes off I go. If I can just drag my fingers back from Spider Solitaire.

I’ve written six mysteries now. I can do this again. It’s not hopeless.

See, what--despite my nasty little Spider Solitaire addiction--I’ve accomplished so far. Visit my page and check me out.


I don't play Spider Solitaire--but when I need to unwind, I play the old-fashioned solitaire.
Thonie Hevron said…
Before I took up writing as an avocation, I promised myself when I retired I'd buy an Xbox and play video games. Guess what? That never happened. Because I have to parse out my time, my guilty pleasure is Spider Solitaire! Games are simple, challenge levels can be changed, and with any luck, they're over quick. So, no Mar, you're not the only mystery writer with this diversion.
Uh--what is Spider Solitaire? (Note, I'm not sure I even know how to play what Marilyn calls old-fashioned solitaire. I guess you do begin with a deck of cards, and . . . ? Grin.)

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