Monday, June 28, 2010

Say Cheese!

Post by Jenny

When my sons ask me what superpower I’d like to have, I often choose invisibility. Going forth unseen into the world appeals to both my private nature and my complete lack of fashion sense. (And who wouldn’t want to sneak into a movie or two?) So when NCW director Kerrie Flanagan asked me for a photo of myself for The Writing Bug, I cringed. I balked. I procrastinated. Finally, when I could put her off no longer, I asked my husband for help.

Armed with the trusty point-and-shoot, my patient spouse faithfully captured my range of forced smiles, including Acid Reflux, There’s a Spider in My Hair, Sitting on a Tack, What Smells Bad?, and the always-popular Take the *&^%$#@ Picture Already! I chose the best of the bunch—Waiting for a Root Canal—emailed it to Kerrie, and dreaded the day she would post it on the blog for all to see.

That day never came. Instead, Kerrie informed the blog team that she had decided to hire a photographer to take our head shots. Yes, that’s right. My picture was so bad, Kerrie was forced to bring in a professional.

On head shot day at the NCW studio, our friendly photographer made the process as quick and painless as possible—although when he told me he wanted ‘bright eyes,’ I had no idea how I might accomplish such a thing. (I’m sure my resulting eyebrow spasm wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.) As I was leaving, I ran into fellow bloggers Jennifer C. (such thick hair!) and Brooke (so nicely dressed!). Then I went home and made a pan of brownies—after stopping by Target for some volumizing conditioner.

Over the years, I’ve given much thought to what it means to own my writer’s voice. I’ve come a long way in accepting—even celebrating—that my voice is not perfect but is uniquely mine. I was surprised, however, at how uncomfortable I felt applying the same acceptance to my writer’s face. But being challenged in this small, admittedly neurotic, way is a good reminder to keep challenging myself in my writing, as well. And thank you, Kerrie, for giving me the opportunity to get my voice—and my reluctant, albeit professionally photographed, face—out into the blogosphere.

How do you feel about putting your writer’s face out there? Or do you prefer to use a picture of your cat?

**Click on "About Jenny" at the top of the page to see Jenny's picture. Personally, I think the picture looks great. ~Kerrie


Kaye Lynne Booth said...

Hi Jenny,
I am with you. I have no problem putting my writing out for everyone to see, but when it comes to my face, not so much. Much of my Internet content is accompanied by the red quill pen and bottle of ink that I adopted first as my Internet avatar, and later as my logo. When site administrators request that my profile pic actually features a photo of myself, I cringe, and I have yet to get a photo of me that I actually like. My smile always looks phony and put on, or I look like I am grimmacing in pain! I guess it is important to get our writer's faces out there, but I don't know if I'll ever be happy about it.

PV Lundqvist said...

I'm with you: I'd rather not. But I kept hearing from people, 'I want to see what you look like!' I gave in.

Boy, am I glad. Much easier to make a connection with a real face. I'm not GQ model, but I was my most harsh critic.

I bet you are yours as well.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Jenny -- I'm with you. The picture-taking and picture-selecting thing is torture. I gave in when a neighbor started her own photography business in 2008. Now, however, my appearance has changed a bit, and I'm thinking I need to do it again (after I get a haircut and lose 20 pounds). :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Oops, forgot to mention that I'd cruised through all the photos. They look great!

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