Goggle box, boob tube, small screen, opiate of the masses, pictocube, or if you have kids…the babysitter – whatever you call your television I think we can agree that it’s a love/hate relationship for writer’s and their idiot boxes. Some have managed to switch off their television sets for good and to those people, I salute you! But others struggle to end a relationship which can potentially damage their dream career.
Whether you believe TV rots the brain or not, I’m assuming we can all agree it’s a huge time waster. Television, or as I like to call it, the UberGod of Procrastination™, is responsible for most of my downtime. As much as I hate myself for it when I get home from a tough day surfing the internet at the office the first thing I do (after letting the dog out) is turn on the television. I always tell myself I’m only turning it on to check what’s on tonight. What if there’s a horror film on that I haven’t seen? Or new episodes of that cool series that’s being advertised at the moment? I also tell myself that if there’s nothing on I’ll switch the set off and do some writing…yeah, you can see where this is going. I check the clock and find that it’s 2am, a blank page waits for me in my office but the lure of my bed becomes too much to resist…another day wasted.
Even as I write this post the television is on! I’ve tuned out from writing three times already! Ugh, even when I know I’m doing it, it’s hard to stop.
Of course TV can also be a great inspiration…there are many fantastic shows out there and plenty of awe-inspiring films. The trick is to learn your limits. There’s nothing wrong with watching a damn good movie, or catching up on that series you love, but channel surfing to the point of drooling on your sofa is a no-no. If you have to search for something to watch then you shouldn’t be watching TV. I know there will be some people that disagree with me, that think they have their TV habits under control – well done you people. But don’t ever, ever, EVER moan about not having enough time to write.Throw away your television, Take the noose off your ambition, Reinvent your intuition now. It’s a repeat of a story told. It’s a repeat and it’s getting old.
Throw Away Your Television – Red Hot Chili Peppers
So throw away your television and curl up with a good book…it is World Book Night after all!