From House writer-producer Doris Egan‘s LiveJournal:
Most people in the world can draw a firm divide between working and not working. You could take a picture of them, and see whether they’re working or not working. But a writer hitting keys could be far less productive that day than they were while walking the dog last night. I suppose a filmed documentary of a writers’ room would translate to most people as “work” — but anyone who isn’t a writer is not at those meetings. They generally aren’t standing in the doorway watching the typing, either.
They do see a script, eventually, but I swear, somewhere in the back of people’s minds they believe what I believed of books as a child – that they’re found objects that washed up on shore that way. If you only ever see a cut of beef wrapped in plastic in the supermarket, the idea that someone had to separate it from a cow is alien.
Much of the rest of the post is about TV production nuts and bolts, but even if you don’t care about that, skip to the end for a nice little Shakespeare riff.