Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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      Life has given Penelope Drayton very little hope. After years of preparations, 1806 is the year that she is determined to create her own hope. The successful execution of her plan would grant her independence, but failure would certainly be her ruination. Just when her plan begins to meet with difficulty, she finds a faithful ally in Miss Violet Wyndham.Viol […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Sarah Baughman!
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      Welcome back to the Book Loft, Susan. Is there a story behind your book Renew-7 Days to a More Positive Outlook? There certainly is. Many hospice patients have shaped my life, and I wanted to share their stories. Believe me, it’s not sad or depressing. Their stories are inspirational. They have taught me to live more freely and lightly while savoring the gif […]
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      Happy Birthday, COTT! We're half a decade old!To celebrate FIVE YEARS of Clash of the Titles, we're GIVING AWAY some fun gifts. You can win books by Gail Pallotta and Lisa Lickel, or even a KINDLE FIRE!!Raffle opens right now!Closes Monday, November 30.There are several ways to enter the drawing outlined in the RaffleCopter below. Winners will be d […]
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      Congratulations toA Noble Masqueradeby Kristi Ann Hunter!Book Blurb:Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as he approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become eve […]
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      Hi again,It's been a long time again since I posted. Haven't done a ton of writing but I did start a new novel or novelette or series of novelettes at the beginning of the month. November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to start a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. November isn't over yet but I know I'm not going […]
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      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Confessions of a Video Game Addict

Posted by Ben Erlichman on October 14, 2010

What I’ve Learned

After having logged an estimated full year’s-worth of playing video games, time I could have spent developing my writing career, I’ve finally discovered what might serve as motivation for me to play fewer video games: my own laziness.

I hate working. I hate being responsible for making money, for putting in long hours at jobs I hate in order to pay the bills (though I’m actually enjoying working for my dad so far). I’d much rather play video games than work, but since that’s not an option, I work, then play video games when I get home.

I realized today that the only real way to break that cycle is to sell a novel, then to sell a few more after that. Once I’ve got at least three books published, I should be able to make my living off of writing and perhaps extra-writing activities (like speaking publicly, etc.). My goal is to be self-sufficient in my writing by the time I’m 30, which is about 5 years from now.

Video games hinder that goal. They keep me enslaved to two different things: more video games and my day job. The more video games I play, the less time I have to work on my novels, which means they take longer to finish. That means it takes longer to get them published, and, well, you get the idea. My video game addiction is literally keeping me from succeeding as an author, or at the very least, slowing it down considerably.

So if I’m really serious about my writing (and about not working), something’s gotta give. Soon.

And really, what do I have to lose?

Long, dark periods of isolation. Feeling like my life lacks purpose. Quick, easy entertainment.

That last one is just so darned strong, though, so hard to avoid.

I think that this series has helped me realize a few key things about video games and video game addictions. Video games aren’t bad, but devoting too much of your life to them can have detrimental side-effects. They can quickly seize a place that a friend of mine referred to as “the throne in your heart,” meaning they control you to some degree.

Parents, here’s my advice to you: don’t keep your kids from playing video games. It won’t work. They WILL go behind your back and play, either at home while you’re gone or at a friend’s house. Instead, provide them with so many other fun alternatives that it’s hard for them to want to play video games.

Here’s an example of a good compromise, one that works especially well with boys and young men (who are the main group of video gamers): over the summer, the guys in my youth group and their friends have gathered at our church on a Friday or a Saturday night at least once a month for what we call a “Night of Manly Mayhem.” It’s an event specifically designed for guys who want to do two key things: 1. play video games; and 2. beat each other up with foam swords.

In recent events, I’ve noticed that by and large, our attendees would rather swordfight outside and run around playing capture the flag (with the swords) than sit inside and play video games, which serve as a break when our bodies are worn out from the sword-fighting.

Parents, perhaps this is a good thing to explore with your gamers? Enable them to do things outside or that are active that seem like they’re video games in real life. Kid plays Madden on his Xbox? Have Kid learn to play football for real, even if it isn’t on a real team. Kid loves action/adventure games? Help Kid make some swords for him and his friends to play with. Shoot, they can even make armor out of cardboard so it’s safer, or Kid can just wear his football pads instead, if he does both.

My last message is to the gamers themselves, people just like me who need video games in their lives: you do need them, but you don’t need them as much as you think you do. What do you love about life? What really gets you going? What’s your favorite thing to do? If “playing video games” is your answer, that’s not sad or unfortunate, it just means you haven’t found anything else that compares.

It also probably means you haven’t looked very hard. My encouragement to you is to either get serious about your gaming and go pro (and one local tournament should give you an idea of how you stack up against others), or figure out what else you love to do and find a way to make money at that. That’s what I’m trying to do with my writing, and I know someday it will work out so that I can write full-time and still play video games too.

In the end, it’s your decision. Are you going to take one year out of every fifteen you live and spend it on video games like I did? Or will you use it for something else? I want to encourage you to keep looking for that “something else.” When you find it, you might just realize what you’ve been missing all along, just like I did.

*Feel free to check out the first three parts of this series on my personal blog, In the Fray.

2 Responses to “Confessions of a Video Game Addict”

  1. I hate to burst your bubble, but you can count how many novels I have out now. And the marketing takes more time than the writing.

  2. You had some great advice! Sorry-that didn’t get included above. Thanks for sharing.

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