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Writing stopped flowing shortly after dropping tv.

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by SeverinR, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I was writing fairly often until I dropped my television subscription.

    No tv and I couldn't write a decent scene in my work in progress.

    TV is back so I hope I get writing again.

    Maybe writing and reading isn't the only two things a writer needs?
    Maybe a third is reading, writing and observing?

    I watch alot of sci/fi and fantasy, so it would be a stop to a flow of ideas.

    Anyone else have this problem?
  2. Terry Greer

    Terry Greer Sage

    For me its the opposite - its easier for me to write if I get rid of other distractions.
  3. Jesse

    Jesse Dreamer

    I suppose it could have something to do with how you spent your time not watching TV. Did you use the fact that the TV is off as an excuse to watch more movies? Play more video games? Screw around on the Internet? (I use these specific examples because they're all things I'm guilty of). When I'm able to turn off all the distractions, my brain - already permanently over-stimulated by a lifetime's-worth of TV crap - can kick into overdrive and the ideas will burst out. Not all of them are good, mind you, or even useful, but they're there.

    On the other hand, sometimes vegging out can let those parts of my brain that require stimulation be satisfied while the deeper core refills itself.

    Please let us know if the return of TV helps or hurts!
    Jackarandajam likes this.
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Something's unclear. Did you write with the TV on in the background or did you watch TV in you spare time when not doing anything else?

    I don't personally have much of an issue with outside distractions. I do most of my writing outside of my home, at pubs and cafes or other places where people are passing by.

    I don't know that I'm receiving any kind of outside stimulus that's fueling my creativity, but I probably do. It could be interactions with people, or reading or playing games - I don't know for sure.
    What I do know is that I do more things that just write. I try to get out and about and stay physically and (at least somewhat) socially active and I believe that it's having a positive impact on my writing.
  5. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

    I'm guessing that the OP gets his story ideas from television. In which case, couldn't reading books or consuming any other kind of storytelling media give one ideas too?
    Jackarandajam likes this.
  6. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    For me, when I put TV aside, that's when I started to write even more. Instead of "Oh, my tv show is on" it's "Oh, I have an hour to write."

    This isn't to say I gave up on TV. Instead I will save up tv shows to watch later, like when I'm finished a draft and need a little down time before I start in on the next edit. But basically I squeeze TV and other things like reading in when I have some time instead of squeezing writing in. Writing takes the front seat.
  7. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    It could be like that, but it's probably not all there is to it.
    The ideas may very well appear as a result of watching TV, but they may not necessarily come from the shows being watched. What I'm thinking is that watching TV, or doing some other leisurely or pleasant activity, gives the creative juices some rest. You can relax your brain and just take in the entertainment without stretching your mind very much.
    Maybe it's like physical exercise? You need to rest your body now and then or it'll get burned out.

    I think it's not so much about getting ideas as about relaxing your mind.
  8. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    I have not had television reception in years. The last few years I did have it, I was utterly unimpressed by the bulk of the shows available - but I still watched a couple of them out of sheer habit, and that ate into time for other things, like writing.
    Jackarandajam likes this.
  9. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I messed around on the internet. But when I did write it was uninspired.

    Alot of time, tv would be on in background. Its how I studied in school too. I remember one test I took in school, the question reminded me of a Dukes of Hazard episode that I was watching when I was studying.

    I get ideas from everywhere. Books, movies, tv, history, etc.
    I can't write well without reading, writing, living or watching it happen.
    Something about tv helps me write, better then movies or books.

    The absence of tv, does seem to spark my photography(nature).
  10. Tirjasdyn

    Tirjasdyn Scribe

    I agree that observation and relaxation is essential so please understand that what I say next is meant with love and support.

    Maybe you need to get out more.

    Visit places, take a walk, take a class. Go to a museum, see some art, drink some wine at a tasting. Go to a coffee shop and eavesdrop on conversations.

    All these things and more can replace what you want TV to do for you.
  11. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    I've often found that when I sit down to write, if it's too quiet I can't focus. There's something about how my brain works, like perhaps I have to occupy some of its other functions while trying to do certain tasks otherwise parts of my brain start wandering in search of stimulation. I've found that sometimes listening to music while I write helps but sometimes it's not enough. Sometimes I need to put on a video in the back ground while I start writing to keep parts of my brain from getting too twitchy, until I get into the "zone" then I can turn it off and focus. It's just one of those things about me that I have to accept.

    I also find that I need to be regularly consuming new, innovative story content (books, movies, tv shows, games, anything with story) to keep my creativity flowing. Those things stimulate the creative parts of my mind. If I've had a rash of sub par books I find my ability to think creatively begins to suffer. And if I come across one of those once in a while life altering stories I get a huge burst of creativity.

    Every writer is unique and their processes vary widely.
    Jabrosky likes this.
  12. Arranah

    Arranah Troubadour

    One of the things I've found is that good writing, producing and storytelling on tv stimulates me, my creative process. I don't copy their story lines. I'm not copping out on myself. I would never be stimulated in this manner by doing nature things or going to a museum, etc. The creative mind of another person, when I see it in action, stimulates mine. Most of what's on tv is junk. But occasionally there is that good movie or the good scifi show or some bizarre story that grabs me. Immediately I start writing creative notes to myself, while watching the stimulating shows. Go for it. Whatever stimulates you, do it. We are all different. As writers each of us needs what's right for us, not what's right for others. This is true in all of life. Writer who are conformists miss the point.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  13. N.S.Griffiths

    N.S.Griffiths Dreamer

    Something you could also try is some boring, repetitive stuff - gardening, washing the dishes, vacuuming, etc - or going for walks in random places you've never been but are cool or pretty. Since writing is a big part of your life, your mind will keep turning things over while you do other stuff, then spit out something amazing seemingly from nowhere. Usually works for me, anyhow, and I used to have a similar problem with my TV and computer.
  14. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    For me it was the other way around. When I started writing my tv addiction dropped. Before I used to watch damned near anything. But the more I began to focus on my writing, the more I began to prioritise what I watch. Currently it's about half a dozen shows a week. Many nights the idiot box doesn't get turned on at all. And currently I have a stack of dvds from Amazon to watch, but they just sit there in their boxes because I'm writing.

    Cheers, Greg.
  15. Lace

    Lace Troubadour

    My husband is a lot like that, he has to have the tv on when he does anything. I can't tell you how many times I've walked in and he's practicing an instrument, trolling the interwebs, and watching tv all at the same time! I, on the other hand, hardly ever turn on the tv if he isn't here. When I do find a show I like it does seem to get my creative juices flowing, I guess I get bored while watching a lot of times so I draw or sculpt or write.
  16. TheRedPrince

    TheRedPrince Minstrel

    I will often watch tv and just make notes on my WIP at the same time. Watching shows tends to give me ideas for character personality etc. Eg: one of my characters is based on Brian Blessed. I also need background noise, but can't use music because it's too distracting. Everyone operates differently I guess.
  17. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    Awesome! I love Brian Blessed. He was great in Blackadder,and even in The Aphrodite Inheritance where he was remarkably restrained. He does over the top so naturally!

    Cheers, Greg.
  18. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Books and nature inspire my writing the most. I used to get up first thing in the morning and just write because I was fresh, but I discovered that--if I do my yoga practice and a hike before I write (and have a banging breakfast)--my sessions go so much better. My mind ends up being clearer, my body has received what it needs, and I can then focus with more precision.

    I like to write with music. "Skyrim Atmospheres" is one of my favorite soundtracks lately, along with Robert Rich and some Vivaldi. And once in a while I jam out to 80s rock if I'm writing something a bit more contemporary. :D And before I go to bed, I like to read on my kindle. Been reading outside of fantasy a lot lately, which has started affecting my work ha ha but in a good way.

    So I guess my process is to nurture my mind/body to begin with, then I end with the stories and talents of other fellow writers in my brain, enjoying their stories but also picking up on the variety of ways to express what I'm trying to communicate. I think its a solid plan for now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2014
    N.S.Griffiths likes this.

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