I cringe as iPlayer runs through the opening credits of Women in Black Episode 4 (aired Thursday on BBC2). Why? Because 10 minutes or so into the programme, I will appear in all my fatigued glory, full colour and extremely close up.
I don’t like doing TV. The process itself can be fun but watching myself is always painful. In the past, I’ve prescribed to the idea that ‘Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard’ but authors do need to engage in self-promotion and TV does that if nothing else. Though, luckily, on this occasion, the programme in question was genuinely interesting and insightful.
I do a lot of public speaking so it’s not like I’m one of those sweaty, nervous wrecks in front of an audience (let’s face it, if I can lecture 170 14-year-old boys, I can talk to anyone), it’s just that as a writer, you’re expected to be highly articulate and wonderfully eloquent, which doesn’t really makes sense: I’m a writer. I write… and delete, rewrite, restructure and so on and so forth. You can’t do that when speaking!
I’ve had friends push me in front of audiences at parties, saying, “You’re a writer. You can make the toast”. Yes, I work with words but it doesn’t necessarily make me a good speaker.
As I watch myself on screen, I cringe at the close-ups and can see that I’m talking too fast. It’s okay though. As Hattie will probably point out, at least my hair looks shiny. 🙂
Ok, Criminal Minds is on so I’m off.