Stephen King’s Rule #9

“9. Turn off the TV. “… TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.

This was an easy one for me to follow. My parents chose to forego the purchase of a TV in favor of a stereo and the new “thing” “Hi- Fidelity stereophonic recordings of classical, jazz and folk music. Music became my background to reading. Even now, we rarely turn on the TV as we have no cable support and our limited reception relies on an antennae.

While I may not agree with or follow all of Stephen King’s “Rules for Writing” this is one of my favorites. I would also rewrite his rule # 7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” The way I think of this rule is “Make time for reading; reading will build a foundation and provide you with the tools you need for writing.” I have found when I read in between writing stints, my mind is freed from perseverating on what I am trying to say with my own words. When I get lost in another author’s story, my own writing mind has a chance to doze and snooze and enter the land of subconscious. There it invents new ways to tell the story I am telling. Even before the next chance I have to write, my mind begins to dictate the words I have been searching for and I must find ways to get them written before I lose the ideas.

TV does none of this for me. Something about that box shuts down the creative process better than anything else I know.


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