Sharing

Most of the writers I know are introverts, people who would rather spend the night at home trying to thrash one sentence into the correct format rather than go out to a club (and not just because they would have to put on pants to go out). This makes sense on the one hand (inside! writing! alone!), but not when one considers the fact that writers routinely put little pieces of their soul out in front of the world on a routine basis. It’s as if writers create some bizarre average: instead of sharing minor details of their lives with acquaintances at bars, they share their innermost thoughts with complete strangers. And then wait for approval. This probably explains why writers seem to go around being anxious most of the time.

(This is a great time to recommend Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which presents the sometimes-overwhelming neuroses of authors, and humans in general, in one of the most sympathetic lights possible. Also, it is hysterically funny. I hunch over my desk on my lunch breaks, snorting quietly into my curry.)

This brings me to my main point, however: what does an author share online? Does she share the absolute chaos of the writing process, or does that ruin the mystique of the finished product? Will her readers be enchanted that she does backyard gardening, or will they decide that she is a boring person? In short, the terrible fear is: will something I say ruin the impact of my books?

Readers, writers, what is your thought?

-M

 

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