Friday, November 20, 2009

My life as a reality show

I've always thought an X-Factor / American Idol-style reality show with writers would be really interesting. Probably why I like Project Runway so much. I find it fascinating to watch creative minds struggling with a problem. Course, watching people in solitude banging their heads against desks and scribbling away might not be so interesting. At least, not to anyone but me.

Last night I watched The Restaurant, in which couples compete against each other to open their own restaurant in partnership with chef Raymond Blanc. Kind of a Project Runway with food, a snotty French accent and some truly incompetent people (no, no, don't flick the customers off!).

While I was watching it, it occurred to me that my current life (studying for my MA in Writing for Young People) is much like a writing reality show already. I have a variety of challenges each week. At the end of the week these challenges are judged (well, kindly critiqued) by my peers and teachers. Okay, there's no Heidi Klum or Raymond Blanc, but I do have the amazing Julia Green and Steve Voake.

And the best part? No elimination. And no competition, only support, friendship and the opportunity to discuss writing with people who love it as much as I do. And much like some of the true incompetents on The Restaurant, I find myself surprisingly learning so much and maybe even getting better at my craft.


  1. I love Project Runway! I wonder how that would look for writers...

  2. Oh, huge Project Runway fan! But I haven't seen any of the last two seasons. I know Bravo is broadcast over here, but it's not part of our cable package--and I don't know if they show the most recent seasons anyway.

    I started to think about Project Runway for writers as I was blogging. On one hand, it might not look that different. I mean, cutting and sewing aren't super interesting, either. But I'm not sure a live reading could top the drama of a live runway show. And fashion is such a visual media, so when Tim critiques, I can kind of see what he's talking about, whereas a critique on writing doesn't make as much sense if you haven't read the piece. But all that being said, I think there might be a way to make it work... if anyone would be interested!

  3. I actually think a reality show about a writing MA/MFA program would be fun to watch! Then again, I'm a writer too, so maybe that's not as interesting to everyone else.

    I'm glad it sounds like you have such a supportive community. I can't say my MFA program was the same!

  4. Well, I wouldn't have thought I would be interested in fashion until I started watching Project Runway, so I guess there's hope that we could even draw in non-writers. Now we just need to make really good friends with some big-wig TV exec...

    So sad to hear that your MFA community wasn't as supportive. I guess it all worked out for you anyway! =) But I do feel really lucky to have the fellow students I have.


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