Until recently, I would have told you that life would not seem to be worth living without my two main .... pleasures? Distractions? Ways of avoiding life? Methods of wasting precious time?
Take television. I used to sit down and watch whatever was on, then whatever came after that. If I asked myself the next day I'll be surprised if I remembered anything about the programmes' content, or even what they were called. Let's be conservative and say seven thirty to ten every night, that's two and a half hours. Every night. Nine hundred and twelve hours a year, that's the equivalent to TWENTY SIX WORKING WEEKS! SIX MONTHS!
People ask how I manage to do a full time job and write 100,000 words a year. That's how. I stopped watching TV every night. Now, if I watch it I decide what to watch and switch off as soon as it has finished.
It's not such a great rate of production either. I can compose at the rate of about 1,000 words per hour. So, if I wrote during all the time saved by not watching TV I ought to produce almost ten times what I actually do. Almost a million words!
Now beer. I love beer, I love the nice feeling of relaxation it brings, I love the taste. I used to drink beer every day. Most lunchtimes, I would have a beer. The first thing I did when I got home was to grab a cold beer from the fridge and settle down with it in front of the TV.
I can't write worth a damn when I have drunk even the smallest amount of alcohol. I know some people swear by it, but that's me. I can't write, I don't actually want to write when I'm drinking.
Fortunately, it has given me up. The desire for beer is now subdued by the desire to write. I love beer but I love writing even more. I love writing so much there is now no contest.
Beer and Television, I love you both but not enough to spend the rest of my life with you.