A Different Kind of Mental Energy
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?