Procrastinate, Much? Why Playing Tetris is Good For Writing
Are you sitting in front of your MacBook at a loss for words? Is there an article deadline looming like an apocalyptic storm cloud for which there’s no shelter? Would you rather be digging trenches in an ever-shifting desert than struggling to string together a coherent sentence, let alone a 500-word post for a fastidious client you’ve nicknamed The Revision Queen? Is inspiration at an all time low? Is there even such a thing as inspiration? When you settled in and typed a paragraph, did it come out sounding like some kind of Lewis Carroll nonsense (“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe”), forcing you to revise, delete, and finally scrap the whole endeavor? Did a quick Facebook check or a Twitter rant ever hurt anyone?
Do you know what you need to do in times like these? Play Tetris.
Ever notice how the game board of that 1986 block and puzzle game closely resembles a well-structured paragraph, or were you too busy scolding your younger brother for messing up the board with his mismatched blocks when you finally gave him a turn?
When you saw those blocks falling faster and faster, were you gripped with panic and afraid you’d never have enough time to edit and revise the board before it was too late and…GAME OVER? As a web content writer, is this how you feel when you thrash-about to find the right word, tone and style…frantically looking for metaphors like spare change between the cushions, the deadline clock thundering like Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart? Wait a second, that’s your heart beating, isn’t it?
Is there anything about Tetris that doesn’t resemble writing? If each Tetris block is a word, then each row is a sentence, right? The gamer and the freelancer need to build and piece those sentence blocks into uniform patterns, each row and line following the next in a perfect golden ratio, true? Writers angle for perfection, and once you saw those glaring gaps in the Tetris rows, how could you not help but worry?
After a long Tetris session, why is it that when you step outside all you can see is buildings collapsing like a folding staircase, the world becoming some kind of giant M.C. Escher diorama? That’s called the Tetris Effect, and if you’re looking for a little inspiration, is there anything better than stepping out your front door to see Lego-like buildings and M.C. Escher landscapes?
If those three cups of dark roast didn’t help you power-up this morning, or you’re wrangling to bridge the gap between articles, why not forgo social media or any other modern diversion and opt for Tetris? Can anyone deny that playing a few games is good for writing?
Better hit the reset button now…because when The Revision Queen does it for you, it’s going to be just like when your little brother screwed up your game board.
Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.