Keen I ain’t about email exchanges, chatting, texting, and the traditional phone conversation. I don’t talk much to the outside world unless it’s through Facebook or WordPress. Or when someone knocks who’s not a bailiff, private investigator, Mormon, or a cloaked figure holding a scythe. It’s not that I am anti-social—I’m the poster child of extroverts. I talk all day, with my colleagues, clients, partners, brewers of java at the coffee shop, and random strangers in the elevator at the office. I also have the attention span of a drunk chipmunk with ADHD. You may have sent me a message, and I may have started a reply, and there may have been a warm spring breeze brushing against my skin, and I may have forgotten which day of the week it was. And your email.
Then I receive a request to guest post on A Clown on Fire, an idea for a post, a gift for my blog, a request to be friends on Facebook, and a message with this warning: Watch your back; I belonged on your blogroll. I’m learning to navigate the precarious territory of fans and detractors. And I have requested the help of some heavy hitters to do so.
I’ve met a friend on-line. I wouldn’t call her my BFF4EVS™, nor would I call her at 4AM, unless it was to talk about Amanda Fucking Palmer. I would, however, let her babysit my daughter until she’d hit puberty. My on-line friend works with a heavyweight blogger; the major league of blogging. I trust her judgement. “As So-and-so’s right arm, how do you manage emails“? She sent me back some love:
“The bigger and more popular you become, the more lovers of your work and haters of your work you are going to get. NEVER feel guilty if you don’t have time to do something. [...] Life is WAY too short to waste any time on people who make you feel guilty.”
I love this woman. Seriously. Not the rabbit-in-boiling-water kind of love, but one of deep respect.
I appreciate all of your emails, even when Google reminds me that my inbox is full. I appreciate your Facebook friend requests, and pictures of your mole you feel compelled to send me via snail mail. I think about writing you back—I could compose a song about my good intentions. It would be a middle of the road song. But Mumford & Sons would add it to their repertoire, and it would land on Billboard’s Hot 100, and everyone would know the lyrics to my good intentions, and it would make one moving video, in which tens of thousands of fans would sing with the band and fist pump in unison at the Red Rocks amphitheater, under a blood red sky. Until someone at Pitchfork would give my good intentions a 2.1 rating, and I’d be confused, even though I knew it was a middle of the road song, but it would hurt, because negative criticism hurts, but it’d sleep on it, wake up unresolved, and send an email to my on-line friend. She would write back: “Smile like you know something no one else does and make everyone wonder what they are missing“. I would smile, and dedicate my next middle of the road song to her.
Note: Subcomandante, who has remained inactive until now, will now field all correspondence.
Featured image: “Ground Zero”, by Slinkachu.