My daughter e-mails me a link to a site, Better Book Titles, very tongue-in-cheek in its recasting of great works into reductive one liners, and I immediately send out a tweet: ‘Spiders Make Great Publicists,’ by E. B. White. You don’t have to be a writer to lol about this. . .
I’m getting the hang of it, the art of the tweet, the curiosity of the follow(er). I began blogging over a year ago, nudged along by writer/friends, one in particular who spelled out her own blog’s evolution in an eloquent post, Questioning the Blog. We often talk about serendipitous moments — you open a book to just the page that fits your thoughts today — and today she just happens to have a pithy post about Solitude.
Writers work in solitude, and they crave community. The question I ask myself on any given day is: how much is too much? It’s only within the last year that I’ve begun moving into that fathomless online sea of networking: I belong to She Writes, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and most recently, #amwriting, lured by tweets from its founder, Joanna Harness, this oh-too-irresistible one the other day: Get Out There and Do NOT Tweet! I post to Scribd via my affiliation with the Women’s National Book Association. I write regularly for smartly.new york.
All of which brings its own rhythm to my workday. On the best of days, there are no false starts for me. A mug of French Roast at my fingertips, I take leave of the world outside, pick up where I left off in that other world, the one under construction, my novel. Until that tweet — is it a bird outside? or that avatar of one, a widget? — beckons with its inimitable call: you could be missing something, a vital breadcrumb, follow the links — a breaking news story, a poem someone wants to share, inside info in the world of publishing. Do I take a break, answer the call? Well maybe a few minutes. I’m stuck anyway, a roadblock. The only way to cut through is to go around.
So here I am, caught in the chatter, voices coming and going, ships passing in the night. Until something nudges me back, a gentle wind steering me to a quieter shore. I admit it, I’m deeply awed, sometimes overwhelmed, by the sheer volume of voices asking to be heard, noticed, maybe even acknowledged, mine just another. And I’m equally gratified by the way in which we find one another, like-minded souls who value what that mix of serendipity and searching brings forth.
The only question now is: Do I make the plunge into Facebook?