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The Naked Writer: Novelist Welcomes the Public to Watch Her Write in Real Time The Naked Writer: Novelist Welcomes the Public to Watch Her Write in Real Time

The Naked Writer: Novelist Welcomes the Public to Watch Her Write in Real Time

by Yasha Wallin
October 13, 2012



Picture the novel writer. She's holed up in a study somewhere, isolated from the outside world, fully immersed in her own thoughts and creative process. Right? That's the exact opposite approach British author Silvia Hartmann took when sitting down to compose her book "The Dragon Lords." Instead of seclusion, Hartmann opened up the writing process to anyone on the internet who cared to follow along.

By penning her prose in an open-to-the-public Google doc called "The Naked Writer Project," Hartmann welcomes fans to watch her write in real time. She works in the realm of fantasy—which explains the parental advisory at the top of the doc—and begins the novel with this ominous line: "It was not every day that Mrs Delhany found a naked man in the driveway."

For creatives who aren't self-conscious, Hartmann's approach could be a great motivator to encourage productivity. If you know someone else is watching—last I checked there were nine people looking at Hartmann's Google doc—you're inspired to keep a creative flow. On the flip side, it could also lead to public humiliation, though Hartmann doesn't seem phased. She's already on the ninth part in her novel and she just reached the 50,000 word mark after only a month of writing.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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