The other night my boyfriend and I set up on the couch in the family room; he to work on some accounting homework, and me to work on a short story. Then my mom and sister came in and turned on the television. I felt like I was in a psychology experiment. For some reason my boyfriend was able to function perfectly fine with the television on in front of him–he actually got work done–but me? Not so much. With all the interesting dialogue and movement on the screen I was just too distracted to write more than two sentences. And the two sentences I did write? Let’s just say I crossed them out later because they were lousy.
When I want to write I need to burrow in a quiet place. My brain simply cannot be expected to manage over-stimulation of the senses via T.V. and develop original plots, enduring characters, and charming turns of phrases at the same time. But maybe that’s just me. Where do you write? Where can you manage to write?
Preferably, I like to write in my bedroom. I sit at an antique wooden writing desk my dad gave me for my 18th birthday. It has old-fashioned nooks and crannies for mail, clawed feet like antique bathtubs, and secret drawers for love letters. My dogs, Cricket the Welsh Terrier and Beans the Hot Dog, like to keep me company by jumping up onto my bed within easy reach should I decide to thoughtfully stare off into space and pet them for awhile. I considered taking a picture of the space to show you all but, honestly, it’s a bit of a mess right now with papers everywhere and it’s too embarrassing to post on the internet.
According to one study, television is actually bad for creative writers. It clogs up their creative juices. Personally, I think watching television is good research–similar to reading a book–when your brain needs a reboot. I just can’t research and write at the same time. How does the television affect you when you write?