Just have to share a lovely experience because it continues the conversation about social media and “real” writing that began with this post about social media and continued when Kathy Pooler did a guest post about Twitter here last week. As I write my own memoir, I am learning to know many authors who have become mentors and friends.
I was contacted by Lisa Dale Norton on email and asked for a phone conversation. I knew and admired Lisa’s book Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir and read some of her excellent essays on the Huffington Post when I was starting on my own memoir journey three years ago. We’ve traded retweets on Twitter. I have “liked” her Facebook page, and she has “liked” mine.
Lisa sometimes contacts people whose posts, tweets, etc. she admires. Last week I was one of those people. She called me, and we talked for an hour on the phone. Now I picture her in Santa Fe and have another reason to love that place. My first reason was that Willa Cather made me fall in love with her masterpiece set in that place: Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Our conversation was not instrumental in any way. We asked nothing of each other. We just talked about books and memory and family stories. We connected on a level that surprised me and probably Lisa as well. Rather than a distraction in my day, the call energized me and made both of us aware that we are part of something much larger than ourselves. Our writing comes from the desire to make a little of that wideness and depth visible and audible to others as we touch it in ourselves.
Have you ever found a friend online first and then made meaningful contact offline? What are the markers of authenticity for you as you try to sort through the noise and clutter of the internet? Lisa is looking for wise voices. Do you have any to suggest? I suggest you check her and her work out if you too are seeking wisdom.