ROW80 scroll downIf you are fortunate enough to have old albums or boxes of photos from the late twentieth century (Wow…did I just say that like it’s a historical thing?) you may notice a recurring theme. One parent, usually the mother, is often conspicuously absent. We hear the explanation “She was always the one behind the camera” or “She hated having her picture taken.”

What a loss. How much better it would be for children and grandchildren to be able to look through the photos and find pictures, not just of themselves, but of their mothers. How nice it would be to look back and see entire families together, instead of bits and pieces that largely feature the children.

When I first joined facebook back around 2008 or so, very few women used pictures of themselves for their profile. They used pictures of their children, or an avatar of some kind.

In this case, it wasn’t that someone else was behind the camera. With current technology, it’s pretty darn easy for anyone in a developed country to get a picture of themselves.

In this case, it was because the women didn’t feel comfortable showing anyone what they looked like.

That’s not absurd, it’s tragic. Who told these women they weren’t beautiful enough to show their faces? And where can I find this naysayer so I can smack them upside the head?

Over the last few years, I have seen more and more women break out of their shells and post an honest and genuine picture of themselves on their profile. It’s still not uncommon to see avatars (and yes, men do this too) with all kinds of excuses. I’ve used an avatar myself at times, but it’s usually only for a short time, and for a specific reason.

Please, turn the camera on yourself. At your best, at your weirdest, unkempt, dolled up, alone, with a random bunch of strangers at a con, with your kids, smooching your hubby. We want to see the real you. We want the genuine, and trust me, you’re totally worth it.collage

My ROW80 Writing Update for the Week

I still struggle with the new goal of only letting the ‘writing related’ tasks trump the ‘actual writing’ three days a week. However, being very conscious of that goal this week I was also aware that there were specific deadlines that had to be met. One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor and The Day Lorinda Flew are now up for preorder on Amazon thanks to the work my publisher and I did this week. Artwork for the cover of The House on Paladin Court is being tweaked with my formatter. And on top of that, I have finished the Cities of Luna short I was working on, and written several thousand words in The Beekeeper’s Mother.

dragon tail photoIn short, I am very productive, although not adding as many words as I’d like to the WIP.

Much of the work I’m doing now is working ahead for NaNoWriMo. (I added some burritos and spare ribs to the freezer of dinners-ready-to-go-in-the-oven.) So I’m going to cut myself a little slack in October, knowing that I should be able to do more actual writing in November.

Want to play a game? Find the picture I accidentally included twice in the collage. At least…I think I only repeated one…

What’s everyone else doing for #NaNoPrep? Is anybody else making dinners ahead?

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in NaNoWriMo, ROW80, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Selfieish

  1. But your hair looks so pretty in that one, it was worth including twice! And yes, I’m guilty of being “the one behind the camera” most times, but I do make an effort to get into the shot occasionally. Sounds like you’ve had a very productive week!

  2. Beth Camp says:

    Yay! Celebrate personhood! Love the smiles and positive energy in those pictures AND the energy in the writing and prepping to Nano. Yes, November should be intense, but you sound ready with steady prep. I decided not to do Nano this year (after 5 years of participating) because I want to get my focus back on the writing in a way that will work for me week in and week out. Re those dinners, I haven’t frozen any yet, but I’m cooking/planning 3 meals at a time (cook the chicken the first night, reserve 2 dinners with different flavors and accompaniments). Last week of October coming up. Make it a good one!

  3. THANK YOU! Thank you so much for that post! I’m still struggling to even remember that I have a camera on my phone, so I miss countless opportunities to capture snapshots of my life. At least I’m not afraid to post selfies, though I don’t do it often. My mother, on the other hand, is very camera-shy, and always has been. Just because she put on a lot of weight after having four kids, she thinks she’s not worth taking pictures of. That just makes me angry. And sad. I’ve tried, but I can’t get it through to her that we want pictures of her, whatever she looks like!

    I’m participating in NaNo this year, but with a personal goal of simply adding words each day. If my word-meter goes up each day, without missing any, then I’ll count myself a winner and buy my shirt, even if I didn’t get 50K in a month. I’m aiming for cementing the habit of sitting myself down to write words on my WIP every day, without fussing about how many I write. I’m thinking that this way, I’ll make it through November without the burn-out I’ve had every single year I’ve won NaNoWriMo, that has kept me from writing again for sometimes nearly a full year.

    • I only have one good picture of my mother-in-law, who passed more than 20 years ago (right after we got engaged) from cancer. For many years, she’d been shut in, fearing that she herself and her house weren’t good enough for polite company. After she had cancer (I met hubby long after she’d been diagnosed) she hardly saw anyone outside of her immediate family, and having a picture taken was almost unheard of.

      “Adding words every day” is a GREAT goal! Lately I’ve been overly consumed with the writing-related (cover art, lately) and it’s hard to push even further and do the actual writing after I’ve spent hours already on other stuff.

      • My mother-in-law (who died nearly 20 years ago now) was another one for avoiding the camera. My sister, “Slappy”, who dialyzes with me, also won’t allow pictures of her. She doesn’t understand why anyone would want a picture of her, and she won’t let us take any pictures of ourselves, either, if she’s anywhere nearby; she might get caught on camera, oh the horrors!

    • shanjeniah says:

      Hooray for that goal, Tammy! =D

  4. Pleasant Street says:

    This is very sweet. I have reasons not to show my face which are other than not liking my looks. I look okay, kind of average. But I can put my twitter picture on here which is most of me hidden inside a hood. Very nice encouraging post, thank you

  5. Erin Zarro says:

    What a wonderful post. I agree with you. I know people who have this mindset, and it needs to stop! Before my second book released, I used a pic of my hubby and I at our wedding for my profile. I think it’s very important to show the real you.

    Awesome on the stuff you’ve gotten done!

  6. shanjeniah says:

    I love your collage, but tonight my eyes just don’t want to focus well enough to spot the duplicate.

    I’m still hoping to get some blogposts prepped for NaNo Season, but, so far, life doesn’t seem to think I should be doing that – it keeps giving me more immediate things to engage me. The house, however, is pretty well organized and tidier than usual. Our family is the type where people tend to have varying schedules, diets, and to prefer serving themselves. So, other than having the current staples on hand, that part isn’t something I need to prep for.

    We joined Facebook the same year, and I will admit to using my kids’ pictures as my profile pic for a long time. I tend not to like the fuss of having my picture taken, but ,as the years roll by, I’m less concerned with what I look like. Happy to say I’m in the picture more often now….

    I have a post to share with you.

  7. carenksr says:

    Great post. It’s a sad but true fact that most of my childhood photos have my mother behind the camera. Now, I make sure I get a photo of both parents together or with the grand-kids at every major holiday of family event. the goofier the better. I have never had the problem of hiding from cameras, the exact opposite. I know there are family photos, not my family, where I photo bombed them. I am super excited for NaNo. I’ve got my plot and characters, hopefully they will play well together. Great job with your goals.
    What’s the dragon tail for?

  8. Cindy says:

    Is the dragon going to be in a story? I’m curious.

    As for the goals I am making decent work of them. Working on NaNo prep this weekend, as I usually only get to that after the writing, editing, or visiting is done. I have ALL day Sunday to work on it and am planning to do just that (and my tech notes and drawing for Music Man).

    I try to post plenty of pictures of me when possible. My husband usually has a picture or two to spare (he take a lot of photos).

    Here’s to an awesome week!!!

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