Monday, December 2, 2013

TV or not TV

Shedding the TV in 2013 has been a remarkable experience.  What with the time I've saved by not watching news programs in the mornings, or sitcoms at night, I've managed to write a large corpus of material.  In fact, I stopped counting mid-year. 

Sure, there are some TV shows I've missed (Pawn Stars, Big Bang Theory) and I've watched even fewer hours of sports (think little NCAA basketball and not one Pacer game), but overall I'd have to say that the TV has become something of an artifact in our house.  Even my wife, son and daughter have eschewed the boob tube . . . and none of us seem to miss it.  But then, we all work long hours, too.

Most of my mornings and evenings have been spent at the keyboard. And I know that I wrote more in 2013 than I've written (and published) in any other year of my life.  In fact, I can look back from this high December perch and wonder:  "How, in fact, did I write over a quarter of a million words in one year?"

Answer:  One hour at a time.  And often, one minute at a time.

A few other gifts that my lack of TV offered this year were:

Single, longest writing session:  fifteen hours (I rented a hotel room for this extravaganza, turned off my cell phone, boiled a pot of coffee, opened a package of protein bars and peeled two bananas . . . and typed non-stop until my back and wrists gave out).  I wrote nearly 20,000 words of finished prose at this one sitting.

Longest manuscript produced:  a nearly 100,000 word whopper that I began writing on January 1, 2013, and completed December 1.

Most essays produced:  all told, over 125 in 2013, with most of these published.

Most conversations with editors and publishers:  Some of my conversations this year--and several face-to-face--were hours in duration.  And I am grateful for these new friendships!

Average number of writing hours per week:  Around 40.  Most of this time was early morning (pre-sunrise) and/or late at night (post-sunset).  I spent a lot of time writing in the dark.  Somehow, only a small percentage of my writing deals with depressing themes.  But depression may have more to do with TV than writing in the dark.  Most mornings I awoke eager to get at the next writing project. 

I'm not sure what all of this will mean for my TV in 2014, but I have a feeling that I'll be watching even less.  In fact, there may come a day when I won't need the tube at all.  I'll be able to wean myself cold turkey and just write. 

The next time Becky and I talk (which could be weeks from now) I'll have to see how she feels about donating the TV to Goodwill.  She probably wouldn't mind at all.


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