My TV Ate My Homework

tvimagesam Today I had planned to write for a solid four hours. I pinned in my whole day last night:

1. 6am- Wake up, make coffee, take a shower, read Psalms 141 then, dissect The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot, and sip down the last cup of coffee while topping my morning off with a short story from In The Arms Of Angels, by Joan Wester Anderson.

2. 7:20am – Wake up my son and daughter, help my wife, Diane, get them fed, dressed, and dropped off at school by 8am

3. 8:30am – Go to the YMCA. 1 hour – cardio, 1 hour split between chest, abs, and upper back.

4. 11:00am – Lunch with wife

5. 11:30- 3:30pm – write, write, write

6. 3:45pm- Pick up children ……

The day was perfectly planned, al the way till 10:30pm, ending in bed with my wife.

Did it happen this way?



Two Words: Creativity Killer

I have talked about things that hinder our creative process, but I want to expose a vampire, or creativity leach, which longs to feed on the artists ability to create. It is the natural enemy to the Muse, and although it can be helpful, it’s in the misuse or abuse that makes it so harmful to your creative-self.

TELEVISION: It ate my schedule

There are always going to be a reasons to turn the TV on. Today I wanted turned it on right about before I got to number 3 on my list of morning goals. I had a moment to check the headline news, while my wife was getting her workout clothes together. While watching the news, there was a story about a man who hid 2 pipe bombs in his stepson’s girlfriend’s house. The story was crazy, and I was drawn in. Then there was another story about a man in California who killed himself, as a result of losing everything with his stocks. After that, they interviewed specialists in the area of suicide who said there have been several suicides over the last few weeks, directly linked to the economic crash.

Story after story, and I was sucked into it all.

At one point I went to comment to my wife about a story we were watching when I found that I was the only one watching. She was cuddled up with a throw pillow, sleeping. I looked at the atomic clock by my computer- 2:57pm. “Oh crap!” I heard myself say. I jumped up and was about to wake my wife when the thought came to me: “I can wake her now, but what good would it do when it comes to our work out, or regaining my writing time?” None. She had to work at the Birth Care Center (labor and delivery nurse) from 7pm till 7:30am. She needed the sleep; I just blew my morning away.

Learning opportunity for me in all of this:

There is something showing on the television at all times, for everyone. Although it can be nice to sit and enjoy a favorite program, a writer can not afford to sit in front of the tube too long. There have been many nights that I have had it in mind to write a certain number of words, an article, essay, short story, etc. and could not make my hand push that little red power button in a timely manner. Before I know it, it’s 2am, and I am too tired to write, and sucked dry of any creative juices.

A writer must write to survive. A writer must spend quality time, daily, with his or her pen and pad (or key board). The writers that Make It in the industry are the ones that Do It at home. I have mentioned before that someone once said, “80% of succeeding and getting the job done is showing up” To get your Work In Progress (WIP) published you first have to finish your WIP. To finished it you have to show up and write. The television is not the only monster out there, there are many things that can steal your creativity.

It is your job to see your writing as -well, just that – your job:

You have to show up.

You have to sit and work

Be mentally clocked in

Don’t mess around while your on the clock

Don’t milk that time.

Don’t spend too much time in the break room

Remember, I am not saying that the TV is evil. All I am saying is keep your focus on your craft.

Don’t let re-runs of the X-Files or The Twilight Zone eat your sci-fi novel. Keep C.S.I. and Cold Case from killing your Mystery Novel. Get your essays, articles, and non-fiction pieces out of the mouth of the morning news.

When your Muse wakes you in the middle of the night asking to see what you did created with the tools she gave you, don’t be caught saying something stupid like, “Sorry my TV ate my homework.”

Write, Write, Write!


signing off


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