Because you can’t focus on anything, you go a little numb. The condition puts you on a flat, calm, windless, featureless ocean. All the ideas and inspiration and magic is under the surface, but all you can see when you look over the edge of your boat is your reflection and damn, it’s not a pretty sight!
If your ocean was tossing and wild, threatening to throw you onto the rocks of some savage and uncharted island, then you could do something with that. Adrenalin would see you through. You’d spend your days and nights, hours and minutes keeping your boat afloat and off the rocks. But when you’re in the dead flat calm of writer’s block, with not even a hint or a whisper of a breeze and no sodding paddle, you struggle to keep your eyes open and look any further than your next coffee break distraction.
So instead of building up the energy to create your own waves, you hide from your life and bury your head in TV or some other mind numbing excuse for non-existence.
TV really is Writer’s Block’s best friend. The bit of you that is too chicken to stare your challenge down, loves TV. This is an excuse and an escape all in one.
You’re a writer, right? Well, TV is all about fiction, isn’t it? So if you’re writing a thriller, watch back-to-back detective shows! What better research is there than re-runs of CSI or NCIS, or Monk or Murder She Wrote or Poirot or Wallander or The Killing or any of the other hundreds of series leading to thousands of hours of “research”?
The bad news is that watching hours of TV is absolutely not valid research.
Your mind turns to porridge and your body effectively goes to sleep.
But what if you want to write for TV? What if that’s your dream? Fine, then dig out the scripts to these series and read them, break them apart, and analyze them. Do yourself a favor and limit yourself to just one hour of TV drug a day, and for the rest of the hours left to you, read the TV screenplays. Eventually, the style, form, and nature of screenplays will sink in and you’ll WANT to write your own!
Watching back-to-back Dexter won’t get your work done.
Read. Write. Think. Walk in the rain.