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. Don’t get me wrong – the process is 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 as I said in ‘The Second Coming’, I think I need to engage in shameless self-promotion more often 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, as a writer, words are my tool (as Raef would say) 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.