When is Watching Trash TV is Good for Your Writing?

I'm leading a home study group on a book called Birthing a Greater Reality (which is an amazing book on the evolution of consciousness, by the way) and our first meeting was Tuesday night.  As an icebreaker, I had everyone talk a little about themselves and then say something that was surprising or unexpected about them.  My surprising thing is that I love trashy reality TV.


Why is this surprising?

Well, I've railed against TV-watching on this very blog more than once.  Probably a bit sanctimoniously, it pains me to say.  Even though it is true that TV is one big time-sucking panacea for the masses.

And yet, I'm now hooked on reality shows.  I comfort myself by telling myself that the reality shows I watch are relatively highbrow.  Ones like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Tanked.  Shows that actually depict people doing interesting things.

But then how to explain my obsession fondness for American Idol, and now, X Factor?

Heavy sigh.

It's unexplainable.


Rationalization #1: When you've spent the day throwing words at the page, putting it all out there as hard as you can, you're brain dead by evening.  And a little mindless TV is about all you're good for.

Rationalization #2: When you own the world's oldest pug, and his greatest joy in life is sitting next to you on the couch watching TV, you want to make him happy in the time he has left.

Rationalization #3:  When you convince yourself that watching trash TV is good for your writing, well, then, anything goes. 

So here's why watching the X Factor (which, I don't think, has quite hit its stride yet, and by the way, there's a reason why American Idol fired Paula, because she is a-noy-ying) is good for your writing:

Reason #1: Because it's inspiring.  Watching people who've been working at their dream of singing with little support or encouraging suddenly getting props for their amazing voices makes my heart swell. 

Reason #2: Because it's a reminder that it can happen to any of us at any time.  Ya just gotta keep believing.  Keep submitting the novel, keep revising the memoir, keep at it.  A 53-year-old woman got up and sang her heart out last night and got put through to the next round.

Reason #3: Because even the bad ones have interesting stories.  And it is fascinating to watch how the producers shape the stories.  And as writers, we should all be soaking up stories as much as possible.

So there you have it, my reasons why you should watch TV once in awhile.  And it will no doubt be the last time I ever recommend such a thing, so enjoy it while you can. 

Do you watch TV?  What shows do you watch?

**Don't forget to sign up for my mailing list.  You'll get a subscription to my bi-weekly newsletter, The Abundant Writer, and a free copy of my Ebook, Jump Start Your Book With A Vision Board.


Photo from Everystockphoto.

Living Full Out

I like to think I live pretty full out, how about you? As writers and creative types, we tend to live full out because: BusterCloseup

A. we're used to being fully present while we create, and

B. we routinely tap into that which feeds us.

Earlier this week, though, I challenged myself to really look at how fully I've been living.  It started one evening when Buster the pug and I were watching one of our new favorite shows, the Picker Sisters (our other new favorite show is Mad Money, as we endeavor to learn about the stock market and money in general).

If you have not watched the show yet, it features the adorable Tanya and Tracy, tricked out in short shorts and boots, as they mush through junkyards across the country, charming crusty old men and irascible elderly women along the way.   Did I mention that T and T are from LA, of course?  They buy rusty parts and other random things and haul them back to their shop in LA where their long-suffering partner Alan makes the junk into items for the home. Anyway, on the show the other night, one of them, I can't remember which one because I get them confused,  said something to the effect of "We live life full out!"  (This was right after one, or probably both of them, said, "Oh my God," which is their most favorite thing to say, ever.)

And that comment got me thinking.

At first I thought, really rather smugly, I live life full out.  (Return to top of this post for more on that topic.) But then I looked at it more deeply.  And started thinking about the appointment I had the next morning that I didn't want to do.  And how I was thinking really negatively about the appointment, and the person it was with, and getting deep into my story about what a victim I was to have to put up with this person and all the time it would take to deal with them.

Which is when I realized.  Um, this is not living life fully.  It is living life negatively and bitchily and all wrapped up in my ego.  And if I didn't really want to do the appointment than I shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place. 

Since then, I've been thinking about what truly makes me live life full out.  And here's what I've come up with so far:

Deciding.  Most of us waffle and ponder and don't ever truly decide.  But making a definite decision is living life fully, because you're saying yes to what you really want and no to what you don't.  The power of making a decision is awesome.  Once you decide, all kinds of help and support will fall into place.

Watching thoughts.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Another idea so common its a cliche.  But just sit back and observe your thoughts for a day or half a day.  And notice how often the judgments, negativity and snottiness are separating you from living life full out.  Because when you're in that egotistic state of judging, you're not fully present.  And when you're not fully present, you're not living life full out.

Nailing procrastination.  Okay, look, I really don't think it is possible to live procrastination-free.  We all need some puttering type down time once in awhile.  But do you really need to check for the latest news on Hurricane Irene five times an hour?  Or click on your in-box one more time to see who has emailed?  The thing is, this kind of procrastination is preventing you from living life full out.  Because you're not really present when you're clicking around the internet, now, are you?

That's as far as I've gotten.  So talk to me.  Tell me how you live life full out, whether watching TV or writing.  I'm all ears.

*One way I know for certain to live life full out is through the power of intention.  And creating a vision board focuses that intention.  So sign up for my free Ebook, Jump Start Your Book With a Vision Board.  And read more about their power here.

Photo of Buster, the TV-watching pug from my Iphone.  And thanks to Karen, from Square-Peg People, who told me how to get photos from my phone not to turn sideways!


Brain Vacay: Catching Up on Odds and Ends

Its somber at my house with the death of my sweet little pug Ally over the weekend.   My brain has been elsewhere.  (I wrote about dealing with distraction like this on Friday and I wrote about Ally's death on Saturday, mostly in the comments section.)

Since my brain seems to be taking a bit of a vacation, I figured this would be a good time to clear out some clutter and catch up on some odds and ends.  I've been doing a lot of clutter clearing lately, and it is good for the creative soul, that's for sure.  Also, keep reading, because this is good stuff I just haven't been able to fit in anywhere else.

1.  My good friend Ruth Williams (that's her in the photo on the right) has a new book out.  It is called The Prescription for Joy, and its 6a0120a6269bb7970c0120a5f363ac970b-150wi pretty damned cool.  Never mind that I helped her with it the wee-est bit.  If you knew Ruth, you'd know that she is one of the most joyful people walking the face of the earth, and her book reflects that.  Plus, it tells you how you can get in on the action.  Click here for more info. 

2. Also, writing about Ruth reminds me that Room to Write is coming right up.  Why does Ruth remind me of that?  Because she has been to every single one of these Nashville writing retreats.  If you're in the area, you should come, too.  There's lots of time to write, meals prepared for you, and connection with fellow writers.  And, I'll be on hand to guide and coach you.  Check out the Scarritt Bennett website for more details and book soon because it always fills up.

3.  Writing about Room to Write reminds me that I'll soon be in Nashville for that event.  And, I'll  have a few days there before it.  So, if you're wanting an in-person Get Your Writing in Gear session, or a chance to connect with me about coaching, shoot me an email at charlotte@charlotterainsdixon.com.  I'd love to meet with you!

4.  About a month ago, I won a Facebook contest and received Laura Fitzgerald's new novel, One 51svuAQeQ5L._SL500_AA300_ True Theory of Love, as the prize.  I have not had a chance to read the book yet because I put a gazillion books on hold at the library.  And every time one of them comes in, I have to put it at the head of the reading queue because I've got to return them on time.  (And odds are good that if I've put a hold on a book, so have at least 50 other people.  So they aren't renewable.  But, lord, I love the library.)  Anyway, I promised her I would mention the book on the blog.  I wanted to review it, but that will have to wait.  In the meantime, here's the mention.  It looks like a great book, so check it out.

5.  My new Twitter friend Rob has a great project that he is requesting submissions for.  Here's his blurb:  Submissions call out for an Australia-initiated writing project – The Book of Fascination. Contact Rob Kennedy at http://thebookoffascination.blogspot.com/ I love this concept and I'm planning to write something up for him.  Dibbies on writing about writing.

 Those are my odds and ends for now.  My brain is now going back on vacation for a bit.  Because, you know, self-care and self-love is important, too.

And if your brain has taken what is looking like a permanent vacation, perhaps you need some help jump-starting your creativity.  How about a Get Your Writing in Gear session?  I'm having a March Madness special all month.  You can book an hour-long session with me for only $100 through the end of the month.  Oh, and if you want to book it now but won't have time until later, I have two things to say to you: 1. you really need the session and 2.  you can book it now and do the actual session later.  Check out the page here.

Promptitude: Departing for Another World

A friend wrote and told me she seems to be surrounded with people who are having their own personal earthquakes and tsunamis.  I, appparently am no different.  So if you are not in the mood for a short, downer post, click away now.  I'll forgive you.

I was going to do a prompt this week around journal writing, specifically, something to do with writing your way back to yourself.

But right now I'm sitting with a dying pug.  My poor sweet Ally's health problems are overwhelming her and she's got a foot in each world right now.  I'm just happy I got to have her for a few months.  And that she is having a peaceful, loving death.

Here's the prompt of the week, snitched from the book of prompts that I'm creating:

And then we came to the end.

Send a little prayer for the safe passage of my beloved writing companion, would you please?

Why I'm Distracted Today

BusterSitting (Excuse the sideways photo, its how my phone sent it to my computer and as far as I can tell, Typepad doesn't let me rotate it.  Why, Typepad, why?) 

Anyway, meet Ally (the fawn) and Buster (the once-upon-a-time black one).  Ally is 7 and Buster is 13.  Poor old guy is pretty rickety but he is a love.  The two of them were raised together and given up by a family who didn't have time for them.  Yes, Buster is a bit high maintenance but I love him anyway.  It is so wonderful to have pugs and puggie sounds in the house again--Ally follows me everywhere and is currently snoring beside me.