Brian Michael Bendis, a writer who is so talented and productive he needs two first names, described the secret of his productivity like this.
I don’t drink and I don’t play video games.
I love the sentiment. In a profession where nobody is looking over your shoulder, a lack of discipline will certainly destroy you. But I take a little exception to the exact content. And not just because I’m Irish. I think more writers should play video games.
There are two reasons for this:
1) Video games are the only original art form of our time. While they draw on the strengths and possibilities of other mediums, they can achieve powerful artistic effects that nothing else can. Screw a cross floating in a vat of piss. Not to be familiar with the medium of games is to be disconnected from the real advance of human art. 
2) If a writer isn’t excited enough about what he or she is making that it’s more interesting than a game, then he or she shouldn’t bother. To say it another way, if you aren’t more excited about writing something than you are about playing a game, maybe you shouldn’t write it.
It is not a question of talent. It’s a question of passion or sincerity. If a writer doesn’t enjoy the work (to be sure, it can be a perverse enjoyment) they probably shouldn’t devote the tremendous amount of time and energy to it that writing requires. (Even shitty writing takes a lot of work.)
It is a question of competition. Reading and gaming aren’t the same thing and they don’t target the same audience, but books don’t compete with other books. Books compete with other forms of entertainment. Especially e-books. So if your book can’t deliver a powerful and unique and magical experience — one that has more importance and meaning than cutscenes and sprite animation — save everybody some time and trouble. Seriously. It’s like building a boat that doesn’t hold water.
This is the litmus test for me, if I don’t care about something enough to put down the controller to write it, how can I expect anyone else to care about it enough to read it?
It takes a Herculean effort to become a good writer. You must read voraciously, write endlessly and edit ruthlessly. 10,000 hours easy. But more than that, you have to have something worth writing. So, if the idea you have isn’t good enough, read books, walk the dog or play video games until it is. Your subconscious is working all the time. Give it some space.
- Sure games can come off as crude, stupid backwards and juvenile. How, exactly, do you think new arts get started? There are a lot of Pre-Cambrian sculptures of crude figures with gigantic penises. Doesn’t mean you can’t use sculpture to create Michelangelo’s David. ↩