Watching TV often feels like time wasted, doesn’t it? If you’re actively watching and listening (not multi-tasking like I do frequently), you’re not getting anything “done.” I want to get rid of this notion that watching TV is bad and show you how it can actually help your creativity.
First, let’s clear the notion that “wasting time” is even a thing. If you’re enjoying your life, you’re not wasting time! Could you be doing something else? Sure, always. You could literally always be doing something else, so why sleep? Why work? My point here is that spending a few hours a week watching TV is not going to ruin your life. Anything can be done to excess, of course, but I’m giving you permission to enjoy your shows. Now, let’s talk about how they help you write music:
1). Good Content In = Better Content Out
I’ve known several people in my life who, pardon my French, never shut the hell up. They are literally. always. talking. As I listened to them over time, I began to realize that they really didn’t have anything interesting or intelligent to say. It was a constant, vapid stream of thoughts. This is because if you’re always talking, you can never listen. If you don’t listen to anyone else, you never learn anything. The same is true for writing. If you are always creating stories without seeing any others, your writing will suffer. Great authors always encourage aspiring writers to read a lot of books. They say it helps you write better. I think the same is true for watching TV. You’re taking new content into your mind, to fuel new ideas later.
2). Your stories will become more detailed
I was writing a song for a client recently and they wanted the subject matter as “a couple who can’t live without each other.” I was stuck. I kept trying different lines that didn’t seem to fit. Then I remembered a scene from Orange is the New Black (no spoilers!) where Piper and Alex were arguing. I thought about their relationship, how they kind of drive each other nuts but can’t seem to live without each other. Suddenly, my story took shape. I not only had a story to tell, but I had emotions and details to fill the gaps. When you watch a show and get into the lives of the characters, you’re adding their lives and experiences to your repertoire. You’re expanding your emotional range, and you’re enjoying yourself! Lastly,
3). Taking a break is good for you
Whether you have a day job or you’re an entrepreneur, you work most of your day. There’s also family time (or pet time for me), trying to work out/stay healthy, commuting, and by the end of the day, you get ready to do it all again tomorrow. You’ve got to allow yourself a mental break! If you enjoy reading, that’s awesome too, but I really feel like sometimes you just need a show to watch. You need to give your mind a break from creating visuals and have them created for you. Sometimes I just need to watch Family Guy and laugh, you know?
If you agree and you’ll allow yourself time to unwind in front of the TV every now and again, make yourself heard!Fact: Watching TV can make you a better songwriter! Click To Tweet
Now obviously, watching *too much* TV is bad. Too much of anything is bad. I’m not telling you to quit your job and binge-watch your favorite show. I am saying, however, that watching TV as a purposeful, mindful break as fuel to your songwriting can benefit you in several ways.
What are your favorite shows? Have you ever found inspiration from a show? Please let me know, in the comments below! (Don’t you love that I rhymed that? I’m clearly a brilliant lyricist. I owe it all to watching TV!).