While engaging in my third-favorite-activity, exploring the world as I will at my own pace, [first-favorite-activity: writing, then reading,] when walking by flowers after returning to my Viridi digital flower gardens, I now “get” the idea of having digital – and real – flowers. I’m not yet ready for the responsibility of raising real flowers, but Viridi can teach that sense of daily responsibility, which taps into the same discipline mindset as working toward your dreams daily.
Let’s start with the “why” then the three “gets: responsibility, discipline, goals.”
For me, many of my actions in life revolve around the notion of writing “The Story.” Most actions should lead me in that direction. Mild distractions are fine, and even occasionally healthy, but let’s say I spend six months working on something that won’t help me develop any skills to help me write “The Story,” a fully-realized world within which my first, second, and additional novels will reside. If I didn’t learn how to write better, observe broad concepts I could use for writing material, or learn specific concepts, then didn’t I waste time? Wasting sixty minutes of time is fine. Six months?
Within “The Story,” one of Trishna’s main hobbies is botany.
She may eventually study flowers academically, or maybe just for fun, so for me there’s a sense of wanting to at least be knowledgeable enough to know [what a flower is…] general or specific species depending on their plot relevance. I imagine her and John’s abode will be surrounded by flowers of various species, so it would be good for me to know about that.
I can’t method write my way to becoming a plant hobbyist yet.
That’s because although I am a responsible person, I don’t like the idea of taking on superfluous responsibilities. When my life is so scattered between so many different avocational writing projects, vocational activities, and self-care, how can I care for another creature… especially one that is as vague and nuanced as an organic system like a plant? In Viridi, you can kill plants by overwatering or underwatering or plucking them, otherwise, they will survive for years. You don’t have to worry about getting special fertilizer, mold, or any of the other things that can evoke anxiety when caring for a plant.
That’s why I like looking at other people’s plant responsibilities.
That doesn’t, however, teach me how to be more responsible for another or even myself, which is why having daily goals like checking in on some digital plants or even saying hello to friends can help. My notion for work has always intertwined responsibility and discipline. I feel responsible for fulfilling my role and I have the discipline to do what I must to get into work unless I am physically/mentally unable. I can push through the minor nuances so when it comes to a sick day like today, it was because of a serious impediment to my ability to work normally.
That’s where we move from receiving responsibility to discipline.
With discipline, the easiest way to consider it is the Seinfeld Method, wherein you set up goals for yourself to do daily, then you check them off once you do them. I’ve instilled this method so deep into my psyche for writing that I can’t not proceed throughout a day without writing to my daily writing goal, unless I am physically unable which is what happened the last time I wrote under my daily word count, and it’s the same for anything in life.
Some disciplines everyone has baked into their psyche.
We all know to use the restroom when our bladders feel full. We all eat or drink when we hunger or thirst. If we can learn to tap into some of these insignificant/subconscious disciplines, we can learn to develop more significant/conscious disciplines. If I can remember to check in on my flowers daily, water them when I need to, pluck the weeds, and maybe steal a brief second from the chaos of reality to let the calm of some simulacrums of serene realities wash over my psyche as real-life plants do, then that’s one more discipline, like writing or driving, that I can do without much thought.
Once the discipline becomes automatic, we can refine it.
When I first got into Viridi in March 2016, I liked the game, but just putzed around in it. I had no real narrative applicability for it, so I didn’t care much about the agricultural or scientific aspects of the game. I was just learning the basics of responsibilities and disciplines. My life goals were limited to just the broad goal of writing “The Story.” Now that we’re nearly four years later, I’ve found multitudinous goals that all help me approach that goal of writing “The Story,” with more actionable routes. If I learn about gardening, I can method act my way to method writing. If I learn about other responsibilities and disciplines, I can write even when I’m unwell, which can provide an interesting sub-narrative backdrop along with ensuring that I’m constantly pushing toward my daily and life goals.
Let’s say you want to write the best fiction novel you can.
If that’s a dream that’s resided within you for over twenty years, when will you act on it? I stole the permission myself to grant myself the allowance to go after this dream of mine. Steal your permission, too. The only thing is, you’ve gotta rustle a few feathers in your life, get outside your comfort zone, and be willing to do things like taking care of some little digital flowers daily, because they can help you teach yourself to take care of yourself daily. Our world is so full of distractions. These essays may be distractions for you. They certainly are for me. They’re good distractions for me, and I intend for everything I write to be good distractions for you as well.
Whether it’s Viridi, or something else, learn to automate easy goals to then tackle your more rewarding goals.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Although this seems like some kind of paid advertisement, it’s really not. I just like the game. I wanted to explore these thoughts I had while I was walking around a few hours earlier. I’m happy with the results. I’m glad I started writing about media like this because my thoughts are usually less straightforward than a review would allow. Also, there aren’t any daisies in Viridi probably ever. I had emailed them about some UI changes for accessibility without any response. When I emailed them a few years ago, they added an issue I had noticed about functionality onto their bug list, so if I’m talking about sponsorships and advertisements, I imagine that the team that made this game are “done” with it, but their newer games should be cool. I try them out after I can know for sure my headaches are gone. Spoiler for the next few weeks of content: they’re much less worse now, today, but, we’ve still got work to go.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Photos: I took these photos a few months ago before a Float Tank session. I like taking photos of discarded cigarette packs. It’s like a sport for me that started with “Tia’s Business Meeting.”|
|Written On: 2020 January 14 [38 minutes, from 11:08pm to 11:46pm, while listening to some King Gizzard live albums. WordPress.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 15 [Some minor edits, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|