Writing is hard work. While it may look simple (you sit in front of your computer and type or scribble words on a pad), there is a complex thought process occurring that requires a massive amount of energy and thought. The thing about writing is that it must be sustained, its momentum continued in order for progress to be made and the fruits of a writer’s labor to be enjoyed. There is one piece of equipment in our homes that can single-handedly ruin a writer’s momentum: the television.
I wrote extensively in my e-book, The Deathbed Mindset, about how television can suck time away without you consciously realizing it. It can do the same and worse to writers. Not only is our time wasted by sitting in front of the boob tube, but to top it off, no progress is made on our work. No progress equals no writing equals not doing what we love.
Adults, on average, watch television upwards of thirty-five hours per week. Let that sink in a moment.
We watch television each week in an amount almost equal to that of a full-time job.
Wait, what? Yup, check the statistics. Some say more, some less, but the message is clear: we sit our booties on the couch and watch way too much TV. Keeping writing momentum sustained is difficult enough balancing work and family life. Adding that much television to the mix will take your progress to a screeching halt.
Our time is precious, it is all we have. If you love writing as much as I do, you make the conscious decision to place said booty in a chair and download your most intimate thoughts onto the screen or write them on paper. Why add something to that scenario that will add nothing to your writing?
I’ve struggled with this for years. I’ve always had a hard time tearing myself away from the tube when all I wanted to do was sit and watch the talking heads on CNN or the like discuss politics or social issues. While I come away from the shows enlightened (somewhat), I also took away an incredible amount of stress. Little old me cannot do much to solve the world’s political and social problems. All I can do is take care of my own and pursue my passions. By removing TV from the equation I was able to write The Deathbed Mindset and complete three short stories thus far.
I recently found out how easy it is to slip back into old habits. I caught a nasty bug last week, causing flu-like symptoms that ground me down to a quivering pulp. I had no desire to write, only to curl up on my inviting recliner and veg out. I cut myself some slack while fighting this illness and allowed myself time to recuperate. However, once I was over it and ready to reclaim my writing life, I found it difficult to pull away from the TV. That old recliner still called my name, inviting me into its warm, soft caress, and I struggled for a few days to break free.
We writers have enough difficulty carving out moments to write and express ourselves. Don’t complicate things by adding television to that mix. It is a caustic piece of electronic equipment that will ruin your momentum. Instead, add it sparingly by picking and choosing a favorite show or two or sticking with a rigid maximum each night or week. Either way, at least be cognizant of what you are doing with your time. Awareness of how you choose to spend your time is paramount to your success.