Voyeurism is a problem for some people; for others not so much. True voyeurs may want to move on now. Nerd voyeurs keep reading.
Get a group of writers, lovers of language, and one brave author chatting on Twitter and suddenly you have a new reality tv show. WriteTv aired today with author Ksenia Anske opening her sacred writing time to all her Beta Readers and writing friends interested in watching her work her craft. All in all there were 217 views over the four-five hour writing session. People popped in and out; wrote their own texts while hanging out with Ksenia writing her novel; tossed Bless Yous; asked about the ambient music; and listened to Ksenia sing along –no talk aloud her thinking/writing process as it formed.
All in all it seemed just like anyone’s writing session. It had all the accoutrements a writer depends on for the comfort it takes to open one’s self so completely in order to fill the page. There was a visibly comfortable sweatshirt/sweater sans elbow patches, hell sans elbow fabric. No doubt from countless sessions of this author’s elbows firmly planted on the edges of sanity, or a desk, holding a head full of ideas in two hands trying to wring out cohesive thoughts. I know that is what happens to the patches on the flannel shirts I wear as I toggle the edge of sanity scouring for that elusive word. You know the one on the tip of your tongue synapse that won’t fire across to your fingertip synapse so you can put it down in the midst of that sentence glaring at you with the big hole in it? Grrrr with me people! There was that mug of liquid jolt juice, for Ksenia-coffee, for me never coffee. No one wants to see me on coffee. So apple cinnamon water for me or sweet tea. And there was ambient music. Something to massage one side of the brain while the other cerebrates and the third, yes I said third, while the third writes. There used to be a theory about right-brain/left-brain; one side as the creative side and the other as the analytical/mathematical side. It has changed over the years to a triune format to signify the more complex interplay between our various intelligences. No wonder we drive ourselves silly? So much malleable mayhem up there.
The best part about watching another writer write were the numerous ‘best practices’, as we teachers call them, that were confirmed. Check, check, check; I’m doing it right. First, there is the one I learned as a National Writing Project Fellow. Writing conferences work. In any format they work. Everybody present in one learns and grows as a writer. Today’s was unique because for the most part there was one writer writing and an audience of cyber passive observers. We didn’t do anything more than watch and listen but she knew we were there watching and listening. IF she wanted interaction she could have it but this wasn’t a ‘conference’ set up. It was just writing. And writing she did. Beyond the initial distraction and discomfort of doing something new for the first time, I don’t think we got in her way. I hope not.
Other confirmations included writers’ quirks. Well at least Ksenia and I share them lol not sure about the rest of you. There was the head turning to the right as if just over there was the rest of the thought, rest of the sentence, figment of the character spurring you on, or vision of the setting or conflict unfolding as you watched to get all the details. There was the hair issue. The loose strands that need to go back behind the ear or back in the ponytail or back around the fingers to be twisted into releasing the next idea. Don’t have hair? I got nothing for ya except you shouldn’t have twisted so tightly! There was the brow action; creasing, raising, furrowing, scrunching, all of it happening and then those fingertips massaging the creases up and out into the hairline. And last but not least was the lip action. The pursing, pouting, pressing, and for me pulling and biting. All in an effort to get out what brews inside of us be it story or poem or song.
Ksenia Asanke, author of Siren Suicides, thank you so much for letting us in today. It was a blast to connect and observe, watch and learn, listen and write with you! That hug is for you!