October 21, 2011

Do I Know You?

by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

With the onslaught of social media, at times it feels like my relationships are reduced to clicks and bits. Conversation over coffee gives way to posts blurted out on the information highway. The need to connect cries from the deepest crevice of my soul.

This morning I couldn't sleep. I found myself huddled on the couch at 1:30 am watching Eat, Pray, Love. Minutes into the movie, the main character, Liz Gilbert is socializing at her closest friend's home. As her pal, Delia, hauls her newborn off for a diaper change, she entreats Liz to join her.

This scene profoundly depicts a truth I already know. It is the ordinary of life that forges deep relationship. A diaper change, an evening walk or a lazy afternoon of fishing is the planting which sprouts friendship. As writers, we are designed with perhaps an even greater need to connect at the deepest of levels. Is this possible in a world expressed in 150 characters or less?

Yes. If we are willing to step out from behind the curtain and allow our readers to see the fabric of our souls. Our authentic selves are weaved on a tapestry of everyday threads.

More Than Cornflakes

The conventional social media wisdom is to not share what one had for breakfast. I could not more enthusiastically agree. There is a vast difference in ordinary and boring. I recently read a list on a blog posted on the authors 33rd birthday or thirty-three things she'd never done. This list was littered with regular and was a fantastic peak into her heart. I saw a never-stamped passport gripped in the hand of a wife who's not slept away from her husband longer than four consecutive nights. She is no longer just a writer to me. She is a woman with whom I'd like to share coffee; a woman I'd be honored to call friend.

Writing From the Coffee House

I love to write in my second office whose in congruent corporate symbol is a green mermaid. Nothing inspires my fingers to prose more than a steaming hot, over-priced cup of java. I'm pretty sure I've seen you there next to me with hands flying over your keyboard as the next chapter of your novel tumbles onto the page.

We write from the coffee house but at times without the heart of the coffee house. Pretend your best mate is perched next to you. What would you tell him? Would you high five over the Rangers trip to the Series or moan about your son who recently changed majors...for the fifth time. These snippets of your life invite your readers to take a seat with you on the couch.

I'm in between diaper changes at the moment. My kids are too old and I'm too young. This doesn't mean I can't invite my online friends into the ordinary of my life. Will you join me at the coffee house and tell me what you'd reveal there? I'd love to run with you on your first 5-K, read a novel together or laugh about how you're stuck in traffic same as me.

Do I know you? Not yet...but I want to.

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