A few days ago, I wrote about the noble art of “Creating Space” as suggested by Chick Corea, famed Jazz keyboardist. Since then, I have been thinking about some of the distractions, time-wasters, vanilla, uninspired, creativity drains, focus killers, which not only take up space but destroy creativity and build writer’s block — when all I want to do is travel and write.
Here are my personal top three culprits that take up space and eat my time that need to go.
1. Any program featuring the doctors
Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, ER to name just a few. I want to see noble, caring doctors that are willing to go beyond the call of duty to help people while showcasing an ethical reasoning tempered by social justice. I want to see this because I have never seen it before in real life. Sadly, I have never met a nice and friendly doctor. Most of them walk in 25 minutes late after I have been sitting in my underwear and given a quart of blood. When they finally arrive they are looking at their watch and clipboard crushed for time. So why waste my time further with a social fairy tale? For the record, this is a tough one to admit to as I have a friend who writes one of these shows. She is a good person and I can’t think of anyone nicer to have some writing success. I am still waiting for the fairy tale about the insurance company who cares.
2. Any program featuring Ryan Seacrest or another sound alike, act alike TV host
He is everyone’s pal and just the tip of the iceberg of pleasant looking television hosts who encourage sad high school popularity contests as entertainment. There are a slew of these seemingly benign show hosts on gossip programs including Mario Lopez, that blond guy with the smooth voice, that dark haired guy with the smooth voice, the blond woman with the smooth all offering round-table discussions of the nonsense of a famous person’s personal life. The urgency in their rehearsed tones let’s us know they must be saying something important. Their usual presentations include pearly white teeth and a thick layer of judgment. Their main job is to be likable and remind us to buy their floor wax, tampons and carbonated drinks during sponsored time-outs. After watching them, I can actually feel my brain cells imploding and a dry heave coming on.
3. Any Internet video sites offering user uploads
You Tube is the biggest offender but there are a ton of college sites offering the same genius. While many users create socially conscious and informative news bits, most don’t. These are the ones that have headlines reading: Kitten in Paper Bag, Child Hits Man in the Nads/Jewels/Nether Region with tennis ball/hockey puck/wooden block/Kitten in Paper Bag, Hot Chicks Cat Fight or some other intellectually stimulating topic. It usually starts innocently enough. I find a video explaining thermodynamics (I do want to know about that), and then after the video is over the “related video” section promotes: Death Fight in Manila, Lady Back flip Gone Wrong, Dog Licks Own Nuts (Apparently, I want to know about that, too). Then the descent into hell begins.
I initially added social networking to this short list, but I have to acknowledge, as a small business, most of my new traffic comes from people I meet through social networking channels.
It is my fault for ever allowing the ridiculous in, and now it is time to wish these space fillers out — into the corn field. If you have any of your own guilty pleasure or pillars of distraction that it is time to say goodbye to, leave a comment below. And now to work on my next project, putting something in the new space.
For more on this subject visit The Creative Writer’s Bill of Rights and The Creative Writer’s Bill of Rights