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How to Use the Boob Tube to Get into the Writing Groove
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Statistics show that the average American spends more than four hours a day glued to the “boob tube”. That comes out to 28 hours a week, or more than half of the standard work week.

For the typical couch potato, this popular past-time pursuit can translate into unproductive down-time and unwanted pounds. But, for the savvy scribe the  boob tube can be a smart choice for generating creative ideas and a steady cash flow.

Contrary to popular opinion, all T.V. is not to be considered “junk food” for the mind. As with many things in life, “it all depends on how you choose to look at it.” As a veteran freelance writer and relationship columnist for many years, I can attest that when it comes to T.V. land, “there's gold in 'dem there hills.”

Here's how to capitalize on it and cash in:

  1. Weigh in---Have you ever found yourself fussing at the T.V. in frustration over a ridiculous position voiced by a politician, public figure, or commentator? Put pen to paper and give your two cents on the matter.  For example, while recently watching “The View”,  I strongly disagreed with one of  the host's (Elizabeth's) assertion that when men visually check out attractive women outside of their relationship, it predisposes them to cheating. Hogwash. Just because you look at the menu doesn't mean you have to order, right?   My rebuttal on this topic became an article entitled “The Roving Eye Syndrome.” It appeared in a national magazine for singles, and I earned 100 bucks for my two cents.

  2. Increase awareness---About a week ago, I learned on a T.V. news program that one of my favorite columnists, Mary Mitchell, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. As a matter of fact, so have quite a few of my favorite entertainment icons. This disheartening discovery motivated me to learn more about this devastating disease and to write a column on this topic for one of my weekly forums for women.

  3. Share the Aha Moments!---Talk show forums like Oprah and Tyra often provide opportunities to uncover self-defeating habits, destructive relationship patterns, and unhealthy lifestyle choices through expert guests and no-holds barred dialogue. Tap into it and help others to live a more enlightened life.

  4. You be the judge---I'm a big fan of the many courtroom TV. shows---from Judge Judy, to Judge Mathis, to Family Court, to Divorce Court.  These daily “dramas” are a virtual gold mine for what not to do in familial and personal relationships No topic is taboo. Not to mention, the names and characters can be changed to form the foundation for fictional pieces.  Tune in and take note.

  5. Uplift the masses---For me, writing is a ministry.  To be “spiritually fed,” I find myself watching minister Joel Osteen weekly, and putting a spin on his eloquent sermons and the related scriptural lessons.  You can too.

By following these five timely tips you'll soon discover why the boob tube is a smart choice for a successful and profitable writing career.

© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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