Yeah, I haven't done a lot of writing lately. There. I admit it. It sucks, but it's the truth. I could blame it on a lot of things--like the fact my laptop went on the fritz and my computer-fixing husband just so happens to be on a business trip at the same time or how I'm single-parenting three kids while he is away--but the fact is, I just don't want to write.
I have time. I have plenty of time to write, hours in fact, and I actually have an old desktop computer that I can use to write, but it sure seems a lot easier to stay in my pajamas until three in the afternoon and watch various TV episodes on Netflix. It's way easier, actually.
Sometimes characters just don't want to speak to me and sometimes the plot and story seems elusive. I'm not a plotter and so when the creativity juices just don't flow or I hit that invisible wall marked "Writer's Block" then I have to step away and chill for a while. I will be back, because that's how this writing thing seems to work for me--write like a crazy woman and then go through a drought--it's a pattern I recognize all too well.
So as I laid there on my couch, covered with two big fluffy blankets, it dawned on me: I'm not being TOTALLY lazy; I'm only being PARTIALLY lazy. There's a difference. Okay, maybe not, but I would like to believe that maybe, just maybe that while watching episode after episode of CHUCK I'm storing away valuable information for a later time. Like maybe, I'm studying character development, body movements, and expressions. I'm doing freakin' research, okay?
Actually, it took eight episodes before this idea even came to me, but still. No, I'm not writing anything spy-like at all, but that doesn't mean I can't learn something from this show that I can apply to my own writing. I think that every time, as authors, we watch a television show or go to the movies or watch a live play, we should not only enjoy ourselves, but we should be studying the craft as well.
Every show has writers--screen writers, which is a pretty tough job--and actors that we can gleam valuable information from to apply to our own projects. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about stealing. HECK NO. Do not do this. Very bad. What I'm talking about it is looking for ways to improve our own writing in small ways. How can I describe the way that Sarah expressed her sadness without saying anything to Chuck? How can I take what I see on the screen and paint that same picture with words? Those are the things I'm talking about.
Will I learn a lot from watching CHUCK? I don't know, but that doesn't mean I can't try--or SHOULDN'T try. Yes, I'm in my PJ's and yes, CHUCK is playing on my TV in the background while I write this blog to justify my great desire to lay on my couch, snuggled in warm blankets as I eat dry fruit loops from the box. But don't you dare judge me. DON'T YOU DARE. Who knows what I may retain and apply? No one, that's who!
So here I go, I'm off to do research. I may look lazy, but I swear to you, I'm only being partially lazy. I will learn something from watching CHUCK. I will lock it away in my little brain for future use. That's a promise.
And you know what? Sometimes authors just need a break too, and what a better way than with a little NETFLIX an a whole lot of justification?
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