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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Workshop Wednesday - Watching While You Write

Each writer has her own recipe for productivity. Some listen to music, some prefer total silence; some like to write outdoors, some curled up in bed; some write at desks, others sprawled across the floor with laptops. The best approach? Whatever works. Whatever keeps your fingers flying is the best setup.

During my 6:30 a.m. writing block, I plug in the colored lights on my little potted tree, and write in the dark, without any distractions. I'm more lyrical and creative that time of morning, before I've had to worry about anything else. But later in the day, during my afternoon block of writing time, I set up my laptop on the kitchen table and turn the TV on in the background. I love a good scripted drama, but lately, with Viktor, I haven't had time to truly sit down and watch anything during primetime hours. What I watch instead are my "writing shows," the ones that help me work productively without getting too stuck inside any kind of plotline. My guilty pleasures, you might say.


I love to look at houses while I'm writing. Gives me so many ideas as I create fictional spaces.

Fixer Upper
This is my new favorite. Husband and wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines take clients house shopping for, appropriately, fixer uppers, then renovate and redesign with stunning results. Chip is the contractor, Joanna the designer, and her taste is impeccable. Would love to have her design a room for me. What I love about this show, compared to some of the others, is the total lack of drama. The Gaines are just adorable, they get along so well, their clients are never quarrelsome. They live on a farm full of goats and chickens with their four children, and their hour-long renos are delightful to watch.

Sarah Sees Potential
Sarah has had several shows, and I love her design style. Whatever she's working on, it always turns out beautiful.

Rehab Addict
Nicole Curtis is Wonder Woman, I'm convinced. She buys up old homes, many on the verge of being condemned, and performs miraculous renovations, bringing them back to their original glory. She's all about classic, rather than trendy, which I love, and it's amazing to watch her make the old relics shine once more. She does a lot of the renovation herself, and stages the houses too, when she's finished. Small but mighty, girl power.


Chrisley Knows Best
Let me preface this by saying that I don't like reality TV. No Real Housewives of anywhere for me. But one afternoon, when my back was hurting badly, and I was trying to write, there was a marathon on E!, and I got sucked in. This is such a guilty pleasure - embarrassing, yeah - but Todd Chrisley is hilarious. It's fun watching his big-haired, Southern family drawl their way through the swankier neighborhoods of Atlanta. Good, mindless writing TV, and a laugh or two.

Nothing like something you've seen a few times before to keep you focused on your work. My favorites:

This show (the first two seasons, anyway) is brilliant and witty and touching, and the cast is wonderful. Seasons one and two are some of my all-time favorite TV. It's quirky; it's shockingly real and normal, despite the abnormal antics of the characters, and if you've been on the fence about it, it's definitely worth watching.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I grew up watching Buffy. I wrote fanfictions for it in sixth grade, and hid them in a shoebox in the closet, too nervous to ever share them with anyone. I'm doing a whole post about it next week. Eternal love for this show ;)

Because how can you not love it?

I'm always on the lookout for new writing shows. When you write as many words as I do, that calls for a lot of TV.

1 comment:

  1. Love, Love, Love Fixer Upper! One of my new favorites. Nicole Curtis and Sarah are fantastic! Chrisley and crew are hilarious!