Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last month, Nielsen reported that “the average television viewer watches more than 151 hours of TV per month – an all-time high.”

That’s 35 hours a week in front of a television screen. Almost equivalent to a full-time job.

Because you are interested in writing, you probably watch far less than the average. But even if you watch very little, I offer you the advice that I offer to all writers: Spend more time each week reading good writing, in order to absorb English that’s worth emulating. Make this time available by watching less television, which fills your mind with the worst English.

When they hear this advice, most people stare at me. I can see two emotions in their eyes: (1) horror at recognizing the truth about television; and (2) a perverse refusal to take action. But a stalwart few accept the advice and follow it. Almost effortlessly, they become better writers.

The Takeaway: Reduce your weekly television viewing by several hours; spend those hours absorbing good English. This one tactic will improve your writing more than any other. If you would like a list of recommended writers, go to my profile and send me an email.

No comments:

Post a Comment