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8 Tips for Writing Sucessfully in Front of the Small Screen

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Branding Yourself With Gravatars Illustration

Struggling to find time to update your blog. Yet you never miss your favorite TV shows or somehow find yourself watching "Roeasanne" again, c'mon "Roeasanne". What channel even has the audacity to still play that show anyway.

You could be writing right now. Or least sitting there with pencil and paper in hand looking like a writer. Don't worry we'll get your hand moving across that page. This post will cover some tips to make things happen in front of the small screen.

1. Relax

Your writing can't be as bad as another episode of "Night Court".

2. Love the Reruns

Usually reruns are boring. "Seinfield" isn't so funny the 5th time. But when its time to write in front of the TV reruns are your best choice. The more times you've watched a show the easier it will be for you to tune it out and write. In fact buy some "Friends" DVDs and play them while prime time is on. You might miss the next "Prison Break" or "24", but you'll write better. Who am I kidding. I'm not missing my favorite shows.

3. Embrace Distraction

There is a reason your in front of the boob tube. Either your feeling tired, lazy, bored, stress-out, or your just procrastinating. In any case your there for distraction. Well writing is as good a distraction as any.

4. Accept that Your Not Shakespeare

Clearly the greatest poets of all time didn't write in front of the TV, which is good. It takes the pressure off. You don't need a muse flowing through you to get some good ideas down on paper. Your also there ready with pencil in hand if lighting does strike. And we're bloggers anyway. Not poets for god's sake. Take that black turtle neck sweater off.

5. Let Your Ideas Flow

Don't furrow your brow with concentration. You didn't sit down in front of the TV to concentrate. Just let the ideas flow without pressure.

6. Capture Your Thoughts

This isn't the time to do your most detailed writing or work on polishing a draft. It is a great time to come up with some ideas. Make lists of topics for your blog, or lists of headlines that interest you, sketch out some concepts, or write a rough article outline.

7. Turn Off the Editor

If inspiration comes run with it. This is a great time to turn off that internal editor. Don't worry about misspellings or bad ideas. Just run with your thought process. You'll be surprised at how much good stuff comes out. You might surprise yourself and bang out a good first draft during a 30 minute episode of, yet again, "Cheers".

Even if you end up cutting out half of your writing once you go to edit later on that's OK. This is work you might not have gotten written down any other way. Would you have found the energy or the time otherwise?

8. Have Fun While Finding Your Voice

Writing in Front of the TV is a great way to inject some of your personality into your posts. Your relaxed, your defenses are down, your just having fun writing. Its a good way to find your voice.

Worst Case Scenario

If all else fails you could actually watch that episode of "Law and Order" for the eighth time, which is what you sat down to do anyway.

Now tell the truth. How many of you have been writing in front of the TV lately?

Tube in tube

Get a TV tuner card for your PC and add TV to your working environment. TV is another window on your PC screen. Works great with a wide screen monitor.

TV as background

Since I was a kid, I always needed background noise to work. I remember being 12, having the TV and the radio on simultaneously, and knocking out essays.

I concur on reruns. You don't get as engrossed, you still feel entertained, but you get more done. Worst possible TV for working? CNN or any other news media. You get hooked into "breaking news" and interrupted by "this just in" announcements. I tend to get nothing done on those days.


Hey guys thanks for stopping by.

@George Fragos
Good idea about adding TV. I'm on a Mac and I think there is Apple TV. I'll have to look into that. It would be super cool with a double screen setup. I gotta get TV in my office.

Yah, news would be real tough to write with that on.

Good points about background noise. I find I get lonely after awhile of being alone in my office and things like a TV would help keep me company. A little electronic friend constantly telling me familiar stories.

I'll probably just get a cable hookup in here. Then I can put the Sci-fi channel on and have alien monster movies as background noise while I work.



Gracias por tu consejo!

Thank you for the article!
Our Spanish readers always watch T>V>. We know this will be great for them!


I always suffer from writers block and usually get frustrated, But i am going to give this technique a shot. Thanks

Learn to Spell

It's Roseanne, you idiot!

i like the "turn off the

i like the "turn off the editor" idea


This is just to test as I was trying to post hte comment but it failed.

Listen to music

I think that if you put the headphones in your ear and listen to some soft music while working, it gives more energy and it's also a fun. It's my tip or advice to all of them who are looking in the blog. Thank you.

Hey Sean - I usually find

Hey Sean - I usually find myself wasting time on the internet...when I should be writing. Thanks for the tips.


I don't think I agree. Silence works better for getting the internal voices going.

This just doesnt work for

This just doesnt work for everybody. Some people just cannot multi task. Myself on the other hand, I can write in the shower if I am needing to beat a deadline.

You spelled successfully

You spelled successfully unsuccessfully.

Very interesting

This is very interesting article. I stongly agree with the "Relax", especially the description.

Interesting topic! The thing

Interesting topic!
The thing is to get in a void, blocking out everything else, get in focus and feel relaxed.
Background noise, like something on tv helps alot. Music for me however doesnt help and neither does complete silence. I work best late in the night.


Well, at least Cesar Millan's show inspires me with ideas for my dog blog! (At least that's what I tell myself...)

Will Writing Service

I'd say remove yourself from the house and go for a walk in the park to focus.

Good Points

TV helps me to stick to my work. If its totallly quiet, I get nothing done. So I know what you mean.

Those are great tips about

Those are great tips about tv but for myself, I find the tv way too distracting when I write. I do much better listening to music. I find music much more inspirational.

In front of the tv I always

In front of the tv I always get new ideas and start thinking more outside the box. Also music helps me when it comes to writing. Like seamless gutter said, when it is totally quiet I usually get less done.

I am always in front of the

I am always in front of the tv with my laptop. Great little commercial thing to do.

Following your own advice?

hey you haven't had a new post since January. Are you following your own advice?! ;)

You could actually

even take some of the ideas from what you are watching at that time on TV, and then craft them into posts, I guess. :)

I do this

all the time when I write on my blogs. Actually I prefer sitting on the sofa watching my favorite TV shows as opposed to sitting at my fact now that I think about it...I hate sitting at my desk. Great post!!

Best way is

to just watch something you are not really interested in, then you will pay more attention to what you might be writing. :)

great tips thanks man

great tips thanks man

Walking Spain


A strange thing just happened, I was reading through some blogs and stopped when a hoilday program came on the TV, I stopped reading and watched the show, guess whose site I came to straight after I finished watching. You guessed it, weird or what.

What you say is true, watching TV is a great way of overcoming writers block.

Take Care, and thanks

Relaxing helps

I completely agree that relaxing helps you to have refreshing ideas.

Embrace Distraction

"Embrace Distraction" - I think I do this too often haha.

Mispellings should not be a hindrance

I do agree that with the part that says "Don't worry about misspellings or bad ideas. Just run with your thought process.". That can be corrected at a later part with Microsoft spell check :)

Background Noise

The TV or radio is sometimes soothing just as background noise. Sometimes silence is too deafening, and you need the feeling things are going on in the background to relax. Failing that, switch off the TV and get out and go for a run or a walk - I find these two ways of relaxing to be the best to find new ideas of what to write about, or simply make plans to do stuff in the future.

Not me

My girlfriend does everything with the tv on and it drives me crazy. My kids nad her kids will be over and the tv will be blasting while we are eating dinner, Drive me batty.

There is no way I could write on my blog while watching tv, too distracting.


Thats great to see that the

Thats great to see that the tv helps some people write! I cant concentrate on work when I have music or the tv playing! But I am not a creative writer, so its great for inspiration probably!


Hello! Nice tips to get the creative juices flowing! Thanks

Writers block can be the bane of my life.

Yes writers block can be the bane of my life, I have battled and considered courses once I wrote a poem that was actually pretty good I got so excited thinking that I had turned a corner but then I never managed to write anything else that was any good for years. Maybe tonight when I’m lunching out in front of the soaps I’ll do it with a notepad and pen see what happens.

Been there...

I write day in and day out as an article writer for freelance and I have always needed a muse of some sort so I type on one side of the screen and watch my cartoons and movies and even t.v. shows on the other side of the screen. It helps and I rarely get distracted.


Sometimes I find myself either getting inspiration from the shows and movies that I watch during writing or getting terribly distracted. I checked out your steps and the use of reruns has definently improved my writing output. Thanks for the tips! Also, I agree about the Seinfeld comment, enough is enough...although hilarious first few times around.

Oh yes...

One of the best inspirations for me when I have to write an essay or whatever is to take a study break and check out the tube. Then about ten minutes later I find myself just brimming with content that I just have to write down fast before I forget.

oh and...

I totally agree with the posters that say some people just can not multi task. Me being one of them because I just get too into what I'm watching, rerun or not. But maybe with a little bit of practice I could get into the multiple task thing. But for now I'll stick to taking breaks.

Hey there! Thanks for these

Hey there! Thanks for these tips! Looks like a great way to get creative!

Been There

This post struck a bit of a chord with me. When I don't know what the hell to write, I pick out a line on the TV show and try to work it into the post. It adds a bit of fun when you're lacking inspiration and motivation.


is you have hdtm output you can work with widescreen monitor insted of your 15/17" )) But i prefer work listening to music, not watching a TV.


I can't type or think with the TV on either. It can be good for inspiration or to get out of a funk, but I need to dis-engage from it first. I like to listen to soft music with no lyrics when I'm typing. Something that can flow in the backround almost as white noise, and let me think clearly.

Tony Brueski

What a wonderful idea. I

What a wonderful idea. I never thought of that. Now I know what I can do when I'm watching Dancing with the stars!


I love watching ....or

I love watching ....or having Hawaii 5-0 on when Im doing this. For me, it is just funny to watch Steve Mcgarret drive out of a place in Hawaii Kai, and then go to his office which is the Iolani Palace!

For me, What works best is

For me, What works best is when I have the news on. I can mentally tune in and tune out when Im hearing things that interest me.

Plus, current events helps me get ideas to blog about!

I Love Roseanne!

I have to have some background noise, so I play Roseanne on my Charter TV!

The TV stays on all the time

The TV stays on all the time in my house. I work from home and have the TV on in the background as I write and work.

Great tips

Good tips but I dont know if they would work for me. I lose my concentration every time the box is on....

I have to confess...I almost

I have to confess...I almost always write while there's a movie or a re-run of "Friends" playing. I seem to enjoy the background noise.

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