Posted by & filed under Writing and Writers. 5 comments

Sorry for the doom and gloom lately. On a ligher note… My shameful confession of the year!

Last year, during NaNoWriMo, I posted a few tips that I find helpful for marathon writing. Some of them are awkward, like remembering to wear pants when rushing out of the house, and avoiding the I-forgot-to-shower-between-chapters-two-through-eleven stink.  But here’s the REAL awkward hint for writing: watching crappy TV.

Now, I’m usually one of those weirdos who needs complete silence to work. I don’t even like music. Usually.

However.

Between the exciting thinking-up part of a story and the pretty polishing up of it, there is The Dreaded Middle. In the Dreaded Middle, I know what the story is. I know what I need to write. And I know that the words need to get on the paper, one after another after another after another before they can be prettied up. The lustre of the wild creativity of beginning the project is gone, and the end isn’t quite in sight. The fun of creativity has dimmed somewhat in the face of actual work.  The Dreaded Middle is not the glamorous writer’s cafe. It’s the place where writers suck it up and do what needs to be done to put words to paper. For me, that’s white noise.

So I watch TV*.

It’s background noise. I can’t watch things I’m actually really interested. There’s a No-Writing-EVER Rule for shows like Community (Feb 7th! 😀 ), Castle, Doctor Who, and Elementary. And this is where the crap comes in. Crap is background noise. Crap is not distracting. Crap gets tuned in and out like lawnmowers churning outside in the summer. Crap provides the perfect white noise generation for optimal productiveness.

I have never been able to work well in chunks. Not in school. Not in jobs. Not in writing. Yeah, I said work well. I’ll do it if I have to – I’ll give it one hell of a go and stare at a screen for 12 hours straight if I need to. But in the end I’ll get a fraction of the work done that I would have in 12 hours broken into chunks.

Hence, background noise.

Hence, TV.

Hence, crap.

It works. Gets me through the tough writing days. But boy, is it awkward to explain how I know who the Bachelorette is getting engaged to or who really won ANTM Cycle 17.

So.

Tell me I’m not the only one with shameful writing habits!

What awkward writing confessions do you have? What weird tricks do you use to get pen to paper during the hard times?


*Metaphorical TV, that is. I don’t have a TV, but Watch Internet just sounds creepy.

5 Responses to “Embarrassing Confession: I like to watch reality TV while I write.”

  1. Carrie Rubin

    I honestly haven’t encountered the problem of being ‘stuck’ in my writing. Instead, I encounter the problem of not having enough time. And I know that’s an excuse, but book marketing seems to be such a time suck, albeit a necessary one. But I have done dumb things when caught up in writing. Although I haven’t left the house without pants on (thankfully!), I did once go pick up my son from school in my slippers. I was so engrossed, I forgot to put my shoes on. Glad I didn’t get into a car accident in my absent-minded state!

    Reply
    • aeliusblythe

      HAH, yeah I’ve almost gone out in unfortunate footwear. Fortunately, the halls in my last apartment were FREEZING, so I’d notice in an instant if I’d forgotten something important!

      Reply
    • aeliusblythe

      Hah! Yeah… Is the female version of that “Writer’s legs”? Because I think I have that! (Fortunately, given that I remember to throw on pants before running out the door, it’s less noticeable! )

      Reply
      • dantewilde

        I suppose it would be! Unfortunately, I can’t pull over a balaclava, not at least without getting turned away from a few stores! You must be working on something big!

        Reply

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