Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Love Affair with T.V. and Why it's Ruining My Writing Marriage

Yes, I'm admitting it. I've been having a love affair with my favourite T.V. shows.

And, you know what? I'm still in love with them. I adore Glee, I de-stress with Say Yes To the Dress, I'm happiest watching my shows On Demand where I can fast forward through the commercials and get to the good stuff. But I'm married to my writing. I don't have the time to devote to both this crazy love affair and to my writing partner. I know I'm hurting my writing by spending time with the T.V. so why do I waste precious hours watching Hell's Kitchen when I could be finishing the next chapter in my WIP? Why??

I ask this now (after months of being embroiled in the affair) because yesterday my husband found out and did something about it. He did something to the cable so that when the kids came home from various summer camps they wouldn't mindlessly veg out in front of the boob tube all night. I'll admit it. I was a bit ticked myself. I had a date with So You Think You Can Dance and had settled in at 8 p.m. ready for a couple of hours of pure mindless entertainment. When I didn't get it I fumed for a bit. But then I realized - when was the last time I sat for an hour at home writing? Sure I write on the subway or at lunch hours or in snatches of time but those aren't the deep, meaningful hours of time I used to spend with writing.

When I first started writing I stopped watching late night T.V. so I could take the time to write. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., almost every night for a few years I wrote. Now I know that intensity is normal when you first meet someone special and fall madly, passionately in love with them. That intensity is necessary when you're trying to figure out how to do this writing thing. It's the whole first love affair insanity. I know it's not sustainable even though that passion makes it easy to give up old habits to create new ones.

But I've been writing for eight years now. I'm (more or less) comfortable with my writing partner. But maybe I've taken it for granted lately and now, instead of spending time with it, I spend more time with that T.V. Let's face it, T.V. is Fun. It's easy to get along with and doesn't require a lot of effort on my part. So, last night, for the first time in a long while I curled up with my writing and got to know it again by spending more than 15 minutes or a half an hour with it. Like any relationship, I needed to take some quality time, give up the less important things in my life and not let those things suck me in because they're just easier to do.

Sure writing is hard and ornery. Sure it's way easier to ignore it and watch TMZ instead of writing that scene that's been bugging you for days. But if I want my relationship with writing to work I have to shut off my T.V. and pay attention to my writing. Last night I did that (well, hubby did) and the writing rewarded me. Big time. All it needed it seems, was just a little bit of attention...


  1. I agree, Nelsa...watching T.V. is so much fun!

    Just wanted to let you know that I've posted about receiving Illegally Blonde. It's late, so I hope I haven't rambled too badly. Hope you like it!

  2. Hi Tory! So glad you received IB and I truly hope you enjoy it!

  3. We only get one channel here, so there isn't much of a distraction for me. But if we had cable or a dish, it would be hard to stay away.

  4. Hey, TerryLynne. When we first moved into the house we held off on getting cable for a few months. 3 channels only and it is amazingly easy to get along without cable. I wish I had the guts to pull the plug on the affair completely but, alas, I am still hooked. Just trying to spend less time with it...

  5. It's hard for me to stop watching a show if I get sucked in, so I just don't start watching. I'd love to watch GLEE - I know I'd love it, but I've stayed away. It's hard though!