Chad White, Not a finisher of things, A great starter
To go along with the theme, this feature was written once and not touched. There will be mistakes. Deal with it.
As I write this essay right now, I’ve got about three dozen games, a network’s worth of TV shows, and several books I have begun since the start of the year. I’ve got a serious problem and it’s not uncommon in today’s world. My name is Chad White and I’m an unfinisher. Or nonfinisher. I don’t know; I haven’t landed on a name yet. There’s just so much to see, you know?
Little behind the scenes: I just got up to go get a banana and granola bar. Therein lies my biggest issue. I’m unable to focus on one thing at a time. I lack tunnel vision on a majority of things in my life. Isn’t that what writer do though? They get paid to procrastinate! That’s not what drives me to be a writer but it’s a perk. I heard on recent episode of You Made It Weird featuring guest Dan Harmon that if a writer is given, say, six weeks to write a script, they don’t start work until the last week or so. Yes, I’m generalizing. And yes, I know I don’t get paid to write (yet) but this is what I’ve been doing all of my life. I’ve been putting off writing assignments for my entire school career. I usually started at the halfway mark and I often turned in an unfinished product.
However, this goes way into the recesses of my mind. Where does this need to start but never finish come from?
Instead of taking you through a history of me and winding up at the conclusion way down at the bottom, I’m going to tell you outright: I want to know everything. I know it’s impossible but that won’t stop me from trying. To this day I’ve seen ten times more than the recommended dose of TV for the average human. TV is and will forever be my life. Shows like Lost and 30 Rock have influenced my writing via storytelling, weaving and character interplay. Desperate Housewives displayed the perfect amount of genre mixing. Hannibal showed me shows can be artsy, weird, and visceral even on network television. It’s marvelous how these shows work. I love to watch TV by examining what shows are able to do with their format. Having seen every episode, The Simpsons is of course my favorite show. The writers are able to change the world and titular family well even after 25+ years. But all of these shows remain true to form (even Lost. It’s a great show that people question way too much).
Gaming is much more difficult to keep up with as it is less accessible. I have to turn on the console, buy a $60 game and spend enough time with it to grasp its concept. When The Witcher 3 came out, I just graduated college. Thinking I had massive amounts of time, I tried to sink deep into the story and world. I fell back into my ways even after planning on to stick with the game. I put it down and moved onto other games. One by one, I keep buying disks and downloads, saying to myself “I’ll finish it. Don’t worry.” Bayonetta 2, Shadow of Morodor, Metro Redux, Rayman Legends and others sit on my shelf waiting to be put into their respective systems again. One of my favorite things to do is to play a game for ten to twenty minutes, feel like I’ve done enough and move onto a different game. WHAT KIND OF PSYCH DOES THIS MESS???
Books are different as they take real dedication. I’ll buy a book from an author I’m really interested in, say Judd Apatow, and place it down after only reading the introduction. But when I do sit down and read, boy howdy. It takes me months to finish one book. The Martian is my most recent endeavor. I essentially had to force that one down my throat in order to prepare for the movie. But if I don’t allow myself time to read, my book prospects continue to pile up to a point where I have accumulated several books in a short time span and not one of them has been touched past chapter one.
From all this one can see I lack focus. It’s entirely my fault. I want to be interested in so much but I find myself lacking substance in any of these activities. If I focused, maybe I could actually learn a thing or two.