14 October 2011

Why Writers Will Never Have a Reality Show

Do you ever wonder why you never see writers on a reality show?

You see a ton of them for dancers...

Singers...

Comedians...

Truck Drivers...

Horders...

People living in New Jersey...

People who are about to be fired...

Rich People...

Wives...

I mean, all of the groups I just listed...represent a just few among many that are represented (and often stereotyped and categorized) on our television these days. And as I was watching TV last night, trying to ignore the advertisements for Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and XFactor, I realized something...

Why don't writers have a reality show?

I'm interesting!

I can be funny!

Pssh, so where's my freakin' reality show?

And then I thought about it a bit longer...and came up with five reasons why writers will never have a successful reality show.

Reason # 1: The actual process of writing can be dull.

Okay, let's be honest here. Have you ever actually watched someone write? Just write. Nothing else. Probably wearing sweats and a t-shirt or something, too (nothing fancy, come on, we're writing here). If you said yes, you probably know how dull it is to watch someone write. Maybe writer's block can be fun to watch because you get to watch the writer go beserk and do all that weird strange stuff we do to get our brain going. But, really, writing is just dull to watch someone do.

Reason # 2: It isn't possible to film the inside of our brain (yet).

Now, the writing may be boring to watch, but for the writer...it's fascinating. Especially if you are finishing a great scene in the book. Your mind plays out the scene for you and you can forget that you are even writing (on our best days, anyways; sometimes the scene play out like a silent film). Until it's actually possible to put the camera inside of our heads and film the imagination at work, writing will never be that fascinating to watch for the viewer.

Reason # 3: Writing takes long. And it takes patience.

Let's say you have a television show filled with aspiring writers. And it starts out energetic, all of them talking about their ideas and planning and plotting...

And then they sit down to write....crickets anyone?

In reality (no pun intended...okay, maybe a little), percentages that I am horrified to share, will tell you that only three percent of writers actually finish their book. So...maybe it isn't a book. Maybe it's an article. But could you really have a camera over someone's shoulder as they type out articles one by one...to improve their writing skills enough...to get that article published on a site that actually says something about their skill? No, I didn't think so.

Reason # 4: Writers don't want their critiques on film.

An essential part of the writing process, is getting critiques from people. I don't know about you, but I have a hard enough time accepting critiques...and I wouldn't want that whole situation on film. I'm a good sport about my critiques of course, and I do learn from them, but really...that's a lot of confidence re-building that I wouldn't want the world to see.

Reason # 5: Papering our walls with rejection slips also shouldn't be on film.
Unless you are filming an extensively published writer, most writer's who actually get to finishing that book, or short story, won't get published immediately. It can a really long time to get published, and often involves a series of rewriters before we get to that point.

I think I not only proved my point, but I think I have also proved how much work is involved in writing (and how writing really is a solitary sport). I find that a little depressing. But, not, because it's not like it's new news to me.

I really think I need to get rid of my television.

So, what do you think? Would writing make a good reality show?

23 comments:

  1. Loved it. I can hear the crickets.
    And I detest the time wasting of all those shows.
    Barbara

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  2. I can imagine the epic fights if you put four or five writers in a house...

    "Someone stole my thesaurus!"

    "Hold up. John is my MC's name, you have to pick another one!"

    The irony about your observation is that the popularity of reality shows is inversely proportional to the egos of the cast. Although we don't like to admit it, there's a certain ego/narcissistic element to writing. But sadly, you're right. There won't be a show that celebrates this cerebral sport any time soon.

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  3. It might be funny to watch writers acting out scenes or verbally interviewing their characters though. I think I probably look really funny sometimes when I'm writing. I gesture to make sure I'm staying true to how a person would really act when saying or doing something. And even when I'm not at my computer, I'll random start spouting dialogue and bits of narration--like in the shower or on the treadmill.

    So, I think people don't have writers on reality TV because the general public would think we were crazy.

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  4. This is a really funny post that highlight a rather sad fact - hard work like that of a writer is just not considered dramatic or interesting enough for all the reasons you highlighted. They'll just probably have some other housewife show added to the roster.

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  5. Alas, all too true. An hour show watching us write or type, erase, start over, erase, get up and walk around, then end up with one paragraph just would not have the action in these reality shows.

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  6. I have to admit to the camera inside my head part would be entertaining but impossible although me arguing out loud with my characters would be funny.

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  7. Excellent point but I have noticed that they make many movies about writers. I've seen at least 5 in the last 6 months about writers. I wonder why not shows? They could make it exciting like a plot twist idea panel.
    A.Does she ride off into the sunset? or B. Does she meet her handsome prince or c. Does the dragon come out and eat them?

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  8. Sure they can...but I would never watch it! I despise reality shows!! And the reason why is the reason it would work for writers...the shows bare little resemblance to actual reality. :)

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  9. I'm in my sweats now. I feel like I've just been busted. LOL!

    Great read!

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  10. They could do a reality show about me. I'm a humor writing, dancing, horder and I like to throw drinks in people's faces!

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  11. Writers (at least some including me) like anonymity - that's why I'm not looking forward to doing a book signing at Starbucks in a few weeks - great to have th eopportunity but uggh :) Stopping in to follow and say hey from the blog hop - hope you have time to visit and return the favor soon! www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com

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  12. New Follower from Meet Me Monday Blog Hop. Hoping you will follow back! =0)
    My Crazy Life

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  13. Hello! I am a new follower from the A Not So Moody Monday blog hop. I would love a follow-back. Happy Monday!

    http://www.cdnhorseshoes.com/

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  14. If you think about it, the a writers reality show has potential, b/c most of what writers do is procrastinate ;) Imagine all the things that would happen on the show BESIDES writing: nail biting, cookie baking, reorganizing of shelves, alphabetizing of spices...

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  15. Great post! I never thought of it until you shared this one. Writing does take a lot of time and patience, those who don't understand or share the same passion might get bored with a reality show for writers!

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  16. Very funny.... but now that you've said it I am sure there will be a show!

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  17. I'm going to go with "Writers are too smart to allow themselves to be exploited for the sake of mindless TV." That and we're saving our 15 minutes of fame just in case we happen to be one of the 3% that gets published. :)

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  18. Writers have too much integrity and actual talent and skill to be on a reality show....

    People who watch reality shows don't want to watch someone who is smart and intelligent. They love to watch the unstable train wrecks of humanity.

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  19. Show ... Ii thought we had one here, just can't watch it but enjoy the reading :)

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  20. I've often thought my life would make an interesting reality show - the oddest things happen.

    As for my writing - I tend to hide myself. The cameras would have to follow my kids with the occasional shot of them yelling outside my locked closet door ;-D

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  21. @Barbara Edwards - oh me too! They just melt your brain they're so awful! :) Thank you for reading!!

    @Eric - oh that would be so awesome to witness those arguments. I can just imagine "You based your character off of me!! Take it back!"
    Now that I think about it, I think it would be awesome to have that type of show! I'm just not sure most people want to see the egos of writers! :)
    We're a special breed I think!

    @Kelly Hashway - True!! I just realized I sometimes talk outloud as I'm writing, so I probably look like I'm totally gone or something. I would LOVE to interview characters like that! Too awesome!! True...we're too weird...more than people realize. Hehehe...

    @E.D. - Sad, isn't it?? I'm still dreaming about the whole 'camera in the imagination' thing. I wish someone would think that up. Just not during the revision process, that would make everyone hate the writer. :)

    @DM - It would make us look like we are stuck in a cage and in that cage our computer, huh? ALl that pacing and figuring out?? I can just imagine how horrifying that would be to watch.

    @J.L. Murphey - It would!! I'd love it! I can imagine the arguments, "Hey, get back to where you were going! You're not following the outline!" Character: "Hey, you're not in charge of me!" Hehehehe

    @The Desert Rocks - Oh I love that idea!! Make it an "interactive fiction" type of thing! Oh that sounds fun!!! Where do I sign up?? And the viewers get to vote on what happens next in the story. Oh now I change my mind...that would be cool.

    @DL Hammons - Good point! It wouldn't actually be the reality of writing, so it WOULD be interesting. Which would only make me hate the show of course. :)

    @Amy McMunn Schindler - I knew it!! I knew I wasn't the only one!!!

    @Deb Claxton - Oh that would be fun!!! You'd be great for a reality show then!!

    @Shauna Nosler - Oh that sounds fun!!!! I'm jealous!! Good luck! I'm following your blog too! Thank you for reading!

    @Corabeth - Thank you for reading!!

    @Tania B- Thank you for reading! I'm following back!!

    @dbramhall - Damn it that's right!! Yup...and add to the list...making messes, cleaning them, playing video games, gossiping...ah, maybe it would be a good show idea.

    @Shyxter - Yup! It would consist of a lot of these types of reactions, "What are they doing?" "Writing." "Oh." *channel change*

    @Alexis Grace of NorthOnHarper - You're probably right!!! I hope I'm considered! :)

    @Carolina - Yes!! I like that. I'm better than 15 minutes of fame! At least for television. Like you said, I'll save that for publishing! :)

    @Ms Bibi - True...true...way too much integrity!! Ha ha...although I do have my moments of being a train wreck of humanity. :)

    @Debra -Good point!! Maybe this would make a good show!!

    @Lisa Taylor - That would be funny! I can just imagine you in their trying to hide from the camera!! And I'll bet those odd moments make GREAT stories! :)

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  22. Wonder if the book or project was already finished and they just had to promote. Self publishe it if its not already. But in this house theres 5-10 ppl and they face different some difficult challenges to be a 1st. Place winner of a prize: a book deal with 50,00$. There will be some drama when two or more ppl are paired up on a street corner and or and a book store try to promote the other person work. Will if you don't like how the person that you think is hating on you already from the last challenge is talking about your book/ work. I think there would be plenty of heated argument and doubts. I think it could happen. Im a writer and a self publisher of my first book. I would love a reality show. SOMEONE PLEASE COME OUT WITH ONE. IT WILL BE GOOD!!!

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  23. Wonder if the book or project was already finished and they just had to promote. Self publishe it if its not already. But in this house theres 5-10 ppl and they face different some difficult challenges to be a 1st. Place winner of a prize: a book deal with 50,00$. There will be some drama when two or more ppl are paired up on a street corner and or and a book store try to promote the other person work. Will if you don't like how the person that you think is hating on you already from the last challenge is talking about your book/ work. I think there would be plenty of heated argument and doubts. I think it could happen. Im a writer and a self publisher of my first book. I would love a reality show. SOMEONE PLEASE COME OUT WITH ONE. IT WILL BE GOOD!!!

    ReplyDelete

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