Confessions of a Story Binger

Hello, I’m J Monkeys.   I’m a story binger.   Phew.   Boy, it feels good to get that out.   They say you can’t solve a problem until you recognize you have one.   Well, I do.   I binge on stories.   Only good stories, by good storytellers…but still.   I’m a story binger.

You may wonder what brought me to this point in my life.  Lots of things, really.  Specifically, Julia Quinn, Lynn Kurland, Jude Deveraux, Aaron Sorkin, Eric Northman, Temperance Brennen, Piper Halliwell, Jack Bauer, Benedict Cumberbatch, the fellas of Ripper Street, the ladies of Downton, Walter White and Francis Underwood

Back in the days before Netflix, I binged mostly through books.  In my high school and college years, I’m not exaggerating when I write that I read at least a thousand romance novels.  It’s a good thing I’ve had a job since I was 8 years old, to support my habit.  And I discovered second hand book stores about the same time I learned to drive.  very handy, that. 

When the last couple of Harry Potter books came out, my boys weren’t born yet, so I declared each of those days “Harry Potter Day” and nobody was allowed to interrupt me until I had finished the book.  I recall wandering the house, cooking and eating all while sobbing my way through the end of Book 6.

the west wing castIn my 20’s I would occasionally by a season of 24 on DVD, then watch the whole thing in 36 hours or so.    And Mr. Monkeys bought me wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts a couple of years in a row, the complete series of The West Wing and Charmed.  Not together, that would be a strange combination, but two different sets.  Charmed comes in it’s very own book of shadows.  ;)

I’ve had to limit myself to not watching episodes in order, because that leads to another one and another one until half a day has gone by with me watching shows that I can probably recite.  Sigh. 

And True Blood?  I’ve bought the last few seasons and watched the whole thing in less than two days.  Pretty much every moment that the children were unlikely to walk into my office, I was sitting at my laptop, with my headphones on watching the show.  If you are unfamiliar, it’s the kind of show that you never know what someone might say (HBO – f-bombs galore – and that’s not the worst of it!) or what might pop up on the screen in the time it takes to hit pause on the remote. 

bonesBut now, Netflix is enabling me in heretofore unheard of ways!  I watched 7 seasons of Bones in a month.  A MONTH!  That’s like 7 episodes a day.  I watched all of Breaking Bad in a few weeks.   I watched so much 24 in two weeks that I had to take a break from it.  House of Cards, the whole season in a weekend!   I’m chomping at the bit for the next seasons of Sherlock and Ripper Street

Is it any wonder that I seem to have trouble finishing writing projects?!   Okay, I’ve admitted my problem.  Now it’s time for a solution.  Here’s the one I’ve come up with: I vow to stay away from all stories (but my own) until I have written 500 words every day.   No word-y, no story.  That’s my new philosophy. 

Anybody else have this problem?

3 thoughts on “Confessions of a Story Binger”

  1. Thanks to Netflix and DVDs, I’ve done this with Downton Abbey, True Blood, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and most recently Bates Motel (there’s only been one prior season so I couldn’t do much damage). Yes, I have weirdly divergent tastes. But I binge read books too, if I find an author I like–my latest obsession is Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness books, which I’ve read over the last couple of months. I’m reading the latest one now, and another one is coming out later this year, so I’m caught up. But I know I have to be very careful what Netflix Pandora’s Box I open–a word-count-busting binge is only a couple of clicks away!

  2. Nah, I don’t story binge, too bad, it would be good for my writing, but I have other binges. Like painting, practicing my piano, I just picked up jazz and moved away from the classical’s, and sometimes . . . that wonderful binge “shopping.” But the writing continues in spite of my binges that relax me. In fact, I gave up a couple of the binges to write. Focus, it’s called focus. I’m not sure that creative folk focus well. Don’t you also ‘farm?’ I hear tell it’s great fun. Maybe I’ll learn, so I can have another binge, hmm, rather, excuse not to write. What do you think? J, thanks for sharing, you are a fun lady!!!

  3. WOW, J, I’m thinking an intervention is needed here. Shall we whisk you away to a TV-Book-free writer’s retreat? I’m sure the Scribes could work something out:-)

    I love my TV time, and I’ve been known to get lost in more than a few books, but for me, my time is about prioritizing what is most important in life. If being a successful author is your heart’s desire (after being a healthy, successful person, mother and wife, of course), then “escaping” into worlds that others dream up isn’t going to do that for you, right? Then, too, all work and no play makes us all cranky, so i like your idea of using “relaxing” time as a reward for getting those 500 words on the page. If you need some support by being held accountable, you might try hooking up with a writer buddy and checking in on word count goals each week. It might give you the kick in the butt needed to stay on task:-) We’re here for you, sister!

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