I’m ready to give up on TV and TiVo

Last night, when I could have been writing, I sat in front of the TV for a few hours and watched stuff TiVo had recorded for me. This says more about me than it does TV or TiVo, but I felt like crap by the time I went to bed and I more or less resolved to give up on TV.

I can’t do this wholesale. For instance, when Kelly is over, she likes to watch TV. So the TV will still be around for now; but I’m giving up on it. I’ve decided that at some point in my life, I’ll look back on the time I wasted in front of the TV and say, “Damn! If I’d only made better use of that time!” Last night I could have been writing. But my will-power, in this respect, sucks.

So, here’s what I think I’m going to be doing:

1. Canceling my premium packages. Now that the Sopranos has ended, I almost never watch HBO or STARZ.

2. Cancel the cable and DVR service in my bedroom. In the 1+ year that I’ve had it, I’ve watched TV in my bedroom 3 times.

3. Cancel the TiVo service and unhook the TiVo unit. I had it for a year. I gave it a shot. It’s a remarkably cool tool, but I don’t have the will power to stand against it without some sort of fight.

4. Greatly resisting the temptation to watch any more TV at home.

I’m certain I won’t be completely successful with step 4. But I’ll do my best.

This means giving up a whole bunch of shows that I enjoy watching. But as of last night, most of them are going into reruns because of the strike so it’s a clean breaking point. And the more I think about it, the more I feel I should be writing my own stories, rather than acting as an audience for someone else’s.

Some smart-ass out there (strausmouse or maybe kevnyc) will point out that I am still an audience when I read someone else’s stories. This is absolutely true but I have a love affair with reading, whereas my relationship with television can only be described an unending series of one-night-stands.

Time will tell if this means I actually write more. It certainly doesn’t mean I will write any better, although one hopes that the more one does something, the better they get at it. So by a kind of twisted logic, giving up TV for the duration may actually make me a better writer.

Cable company gets a phone call on Monday. Stay-tuned… (Yes, irony!)

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.