Sunday, April 7, 2013

How Television Compromises Your Writing

...TV came relatively late to the King Household, and I'm glad. I am, when you stop to think about it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.
--Stephen King, from On Writing

Are you still looking for proof that TV is a waste of time? Stephen King makes a compelling case for you in his excellent book On Writing.

But the "daily helping of video bullshit" isn't even the worst of it. Television is toxic in other ways too.

For one thing, TV time is sedentary time. Remember: as writers, we've already chosen a sedentary profession in the first place. Thus television isn't just toxic to your mind--it's toxic to your health too.

Stephen King solved this by taking long walks between writing sessions. Do the same. Go for a run, a brisk walk, or meet up with a friend at the gym. Clear your mind, then come back home and write some more. Don't compound your sedentary writing time with still more sedentary time in front of the TV.

Your TV doesn't support your writing--it's actively trying to distract you from it. Leave the TV for somebody else to watch. You've got more important things to do.