A Different Kind of Mental Energy

My name is Charlotte, and I love TV.

There, I've admitted it.

Lately I've been fascinated with television.  This after years of not watching it, and also railing against it.  But now I like nothing better than to sit down after a long day of writing and watch TV.  I look forward to it.  I plan for it.  Thanks to our new DVR from those nice cable people, I plan for it.

Here's the deal: I, for years, have asked would-be writers how much TV they watch (smug in the knowledge that I watched none).  Because TV-watching is the most prevalent and the most wasteful of activities, hours spent at it when we could be writing.

But what is clearly evident to me now is that it is not that simple.  Writing takes energy, mental energy, and it takes a different kind of mental energy from nearly anything else.  To write you must think, and sometimes, after a long day of work, thinking is hard.  It just is.  Writing takes active engagement.  TV watching is passive.  And easy.  And after a long day of work, sometimes all you want to do is be brain dead and have images fed to you.  To sit on the couch with the cats and veg out.

But here's the problem: you also want to write.  And you can't write if you're spending all your free time watching TV.  You can't write if you don't find the mental energy for it.  So how to do find it?  That is indeed the question.

And I shall answer it on Monday.  (Monday because tomorrow is Friday and I have a critique for you.)  In the meantime, chime in–how do you cultivate the mental energy to write?

**Photo courtesy of Image*After, this cool new photo and image site I just discovered via everystockphoto.  Check it out.

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9 Comments on "A Different Kind of Mental Energy"

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05/27/2010 10:17

Hey Charlotte:

I agree with you, which is why I am happy to announce that 24 is no longer on the air. I gobbled up every second of it. The same is true for Battlestar Galactica. Also great and also gone. There’s only two shows now that I look forward to watching: Heroes and No Reservations. Now, if we can just get those off the air! 🙂 Until then, I’ll have to continue to enjoy them–commercial-less, thanks to the DVR. Have a good one.


P.S. Love the new office.

Ledger D'Main
Ledger D'Main
05/27/2010 10:50

I thought this was indeed the question…

To be or not to be.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles
and, by opposing, end them.

I must of been in error or New Jersey…

Charlotte Dixon
05/27/2010 11:26

Roy, And I am happy to announce that Season 9 of American Idol ended last night (yay Lee!). The problem is, I also watch a lot of TV shows on DVD…sigh.

Ledger, Indeed. It is always the question, and one that seems to need to be answered over and over again. By the way, I was actually in New Jersey last week for a few hours.

Charlotte Dixon
05/27/2010 14:57

J.D., I know it is sad. Me, who never used to watch TV, ever. Sigh. It all began with American Idol a few years back, even though it is most unlike the kind of thing I would enjoy. Ah well. At least the NBA will be over soon, right?

05/27/2010 13:36

You’re sick, Charlotte. TV has you. When you’re completely in its grasp, your brain will be like an old abandoned hive with all the honey gone and only the empty cells left. But then who am I to talk, Mr. NBA here. lol

05/27/2010 19:32

I have the perfect cure. Move to China! Or to some other foreign language country where all the channels are unintelligible. Once the withdrawal pains pass, it’s really quite lovely.

On the flip side though, I’ve just discovered some of my favourite shows are on iTunes so my ‘television’ watching matches my download speed. Sigh. And I thought I had it licked.

Charlotte Dixon
05/28/2010 08:11

I like your cure, Jessica! Perhaps you can find the perfect balance, since you’ve survived without TV until finding the iTunes you can download.

Angela Artemis
05/28/2010 15:02

I also enjoy TV. I “try” not to watch it as I do agree it’s a huge time vacuum. I do allow myself guilt free TV watching on Friday nights though. After a long week – I’m so beat I can barely think.

I do sneak in some TV here and there during the week, but not as much as I used to. Blogging is much more fun I find! Besides – I’m working on the guest post for you!

By the way thanks for the great link to the free photos!

Have a marvelous Memorial Day Weekend!



[…] I wrote in my post last Thursday, energy for writing is different from energy for other activities, because writing is active and […]