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Is tv good or bad for your creativity?

  1. Good

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. Bad

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  1. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Television...friend or foe?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Oct 31, 2015.

    Today I read on my many travels through the World Wide Web that it takes (roughly) 1000 hours to write a book. This is the equivalent of the average amount of time spent watching tv in a year.

    So it got me wondering... Should I cut tv out of my life, avoid the outside world and knuckle down to a guaranteed 3 hours a day writing time (sounds like bliss)... Or is tv too important in our lives, feeding us cultural events, news, stories, and ideas, that we as creatives need in our lives?
     
  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Oh yeah TV. I remember that thing.

    Research. Write. Edit. Repeat.

    Live. Engage your mind.

    Watch movies and docos, but the rest is mindless drivel.
     
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  3. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    With of course, for those in the U.S., the exception of the Republican debates! :)

    Seriously, though, few can write constantly without breaks or diversions--just choose carefully and "work first, play later."
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you don't have enough time to write, TV is one of the things you can cut. But I don't think there's anything wrong with watching TV, as long as it's not sucking up all your writing time.

    (And I think 1 000 hours per book is a VERY rough estimate. There's no way I spend that long on mine, and there are some authors who seem to spending way more. So possibly it was either pulled out of someone's ass, or it's an average, but one of those averages that is really not too meaningful.)
     
  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Get rid of TV. You don't just have to write. You also have to read.

    I'm not saying never watch a tv show, obviously. But you probably shouldn't be watching more than an hour or two a week.
     
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  6. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    When I watch TV, it's at night after spending all day at work and then a couple hours working out and at least a couple days a week spending a couple hours at my daughter's soccer practice. So by then, my brain is fried and I wouldn't be doing much writing anyway and I just want something on in the background while I get my stuff ready for the next day at work.
     
  7. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or you could just watch "Castle" a TV show about a writer and that fictional writer writes actual books. Must be a ghost writer - happy Halloween. :ghost:
     
  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just download the really good TV shows and watch those.
     
  9. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are TV shows/films that are mind-numbing and that don't help you learn to tell your own stories. There are also books that are exactly the same. The best shows/films you could watch are better than the worst novels you could read.

    Cutting out TV because you could spend that 1000 hours a year writing instead is exactly the same as cutting out books because the 1000 hours per year that you spend reading is 1000 hours per year that you don't spend writing.

    Don't think "I'll expose myself to novels (good or bad) and cut myself off from shows/films (good or bad)," think instead "I'll expose myself to good stories (novels or shows/films) and cut myself off from bad stories (novels or shows/films)."
     
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  10. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is absolutely WRONG. Literature and film/television are entirely different things. One of the biggest problems beginner aspiring writers have on this forum is that they think novel can be thought of as a movie. They try to write like this and the results are disastrous. If you want to write, read. If you want to make a movie, watch movies.
     
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  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sure that there are parts of novel writing and of film/television writing that are incompatible, but even if so, there are even more parts of each that are exactly the same: compelling characters, compelling motivations, compelling stakes, compelling conflicts...
     
  12. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is one's time better spent watching Breaking Bad or reading Twilight? Is the answer different for an aspiring author?
     
  13. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    Wow, that's pretty harsh and authoritarian. There's nothing wrong with watching movies AND reading. Man does not live by bread alone.
     
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  14. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course(with respect to second question). Also, I did say in my initial post, a few hours of TV a week is reasonable. Use it for breaking bad if that's what you like.
     
  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're right. But reading is crucial to writing, not so much with watching movies. I watch movies on occasion too.
     
  16. pyroglyphian
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    pyroglyphian Member

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    Don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
     
  17. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Ever since we cut our cable and relied solely of Plex and Netflix and so forth, my writing has progresses so much. I am able to concentrate, I have more time to write and I have more time to read. I will my shows typically 1 day a week, i just save them all and watch on that one day. I DO watch bold and the beautiful every day though but thats a 20 minute show without commercials however if I am really going at it, i forget tv completely. Its been a blessing.
     
  18. ReproveTheCurlew
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    ReproveTheCurlew Member

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    I believe TV is generally bad for you. It teaches you bad dialogue, bad writing, stupid stories that don't make sense &c. - other than documentaries, news, and some films, of course! But the masses of things they usually show are just plain awful, and as everything one watches is bound to have an influence, I would suggest avoiding it altogether.
    And considering those points would also suggest my take on whether it is good for writers or not :D
     
  19. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    And Breaking Bad, of course!
     
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  20. ReproveTheCurlew
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    ReproveTheCurlew Member

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    never watched it, so I can't really tell :)
     
  21. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bad for me. I use it as a distraction and to veg out. You can get ideas from reading the news, talking to people, and getting out and enjoying the world so unless you want to write television show scripts, I think you can do without it.
     
  22. JenHLewis
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    JenHLewis Member

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    This depends on what you do to relax, sometimes escaping from my world intos those created by others in the simplest format is bliss.
    However if you find yourself in your pants, covered in dorito dust, a coffee stain so old its sour it could be time to get back to writing.
     
  23. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    One of the more famous bits of dialogue:



    This is the kind of show I refer to when I say watching a great TV show is as worthwhile as reading a great book. :)
     
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  24. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fun fact: Walter White's life had started seriously spiraling out of control at that point, so what we the audience were supposed to take from that speech was that Walter was lying to himself about how in-control he was.

    [SARCASM]Oh, but that was TV, and TV can't possibly show character depth and development[/SARCASM] ;)
     
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  25. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Meh, just because you shouldn't try to learn how to write prose fiction from studying TV, there's plenty it can teach you about storytelling. Writing styles are dependent on media. Storytelling is universal.

    I think it's very easy to fall victim to the New Media is Evil trope. Everything in moderation, as they say.
     
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