Monday, September 2, 2013

Now Live: A writer in her natural habitat

If your computer's webcam was secretly on and broadcasting you while you're writing, what's the weirdest thing your audience would see you do in a typical workday?

by Meredith Cole

Having someone watch me on a secret camera is one of my biggest fears. Not that I'm doing anything particularly embarrassing while I write, but because someone would see that a lot of my writing process involves staring at the screen and looking like I am doing nothing. Or standing up and walking around because that helps me think. Or getting another snack because that helps me write. Or taking a nap... Well, you get the idea.

I once made the mistake of making a movie where my protagonist was a writer. Most movies about writers are dreadfully dull (except for a few notable exceptions). Writers themselves are not boring at all, but when they are doing what they do best they appear to be doing nothing. Writers write. At least the ones that manage to write and finish novels. And these days writers write mostly on computers, so you could easily mistake us for any other occupant in a coffee shop using iChat and Tweeting. It's really not dramatic at all to watch.

This webcam question actually leads me to wonder about people who endlessly broadcast their every move over the Internet. Is it weird? Is it too much? Or are authors missing out on large revenue stream if they do lots of "weird" stuff while they write. Like wear strange outfits or sing to themselves.

But if you start broadcasting your every move while you write, whatever you do please don't send me the web address! I have a hard enough time keeping my butt in the chair and not looking at photos of that adorable baby snow leopard at the Bronx zoo while I should be writing.

Happy Labor Day everyone!


Robin Spano said...

I love it: "Writers themselves are not boring at all, but when they are doing what they do best they appear to be doing nothing."

So what happens in your movie?

Meredith Cole said...

I wish I could say lots happened in the movie--but sadly I can't, Robin... The writer interviewed all his friends for his book (and looked soulfully out the window, etc., etc.). My subsequent screenplays (and books) were a lot more full of action!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

I'm starting to annoy myself with all this staring into space, so I dvr'd a bunch of 15 minute exercise videos and when I've been in the chair for too long, I play a video and follow along. (sort of.)I'd rather you not watch. When I go to the gym I don't care who sees me, but in my own living room? Er, no.

Meredith Cole said...

You make a great argument for not using a webcam, Terrie!

Robin Spano said...

Terrie, I love those YouTube workouts too! They do break up a work day nicely. Ha ha, very glad my webcam isn't broadcasting my attempts to follow along though.