Sunday, May 19, 2013

When The Best Way To Connect Is To Disconnect

This was going to be a blog sharing this really great novel I just finished. It was so good, simply writing an Amazon and/or Goodreads review just did not seem sufficient. So I started to write this post.

I was going to tell you about how on Friday after an exhausting week of work I needed a break. From everything. People. Places. Computers. Things. I was going to tell you how I retweeted this tweet that originated from Lee Woodruff.

I had heard about this book. How could I not? While I don't know Caroline Leavitt personally we are Facebook friends. In fact apparently we have 118 friends in common. I checked ( yes - bloggers do research what they are writing about) and discovered  there are actually more than a dozen of those mutuals that I consider friends in the non-virtual world.

Anyway - Caroline has been sharing posts about this new novel for a while. She is one of those authors who understands the value of social sharing in a way that allows her true writer voice to be heard - authentically.

I made a note to add it to my Amazon wish list - for when I had time to luxuriate in a novel. Which was definitely not Friday. Not when I have a new NYU class starting on May 29,  two proposals for clients and all that marketing and prep work for the Digital Marketing w.001: Shedding Light On The Basics workshop on June 4.

But as I said, I was exhausted. I did not want to do any of the above, so I downloaded Is This Tomorrow to my iPad. Around 4 in the afternoon, I lay down on the couch and started reading. And I couldn't stop.

For the record, that doesn't happen often. I read a lot. I love to read. But it is a rare novel that I cannot put down - no matter how much else I "have" to do. It is a rare novel that reads effortlessly. That doesn't make me want to do anything but  read the next line. That each character pulls me in more than the next. That allows me that luxury of escape into someone else's world. That reminds me of how when I was a kid, one of my favorite places in the world was the second floor young adult section of the Glen Oaks Library where I could open the cover of a new book, lose myself in someone else's world and mysteriously connect more with myself. A book that reminds me I haven't been writing fiction enough of late.

I read until I was too tired to read one more word. All day Saturday, filled with real world responsibilities I kept thinking of this story set in suburban Waltham, Massachusetts in 1957 and 1963, of the complexity of the characters and of how real this fictional world had become for me. I couldn't wait until I got home to find out how it ended.

That's what great writing does. You can't wait to get back to it and then it makes you almost sad when you read the last page because even though you wanted to find out what happens, you don't really want it to end.

I wanted to write this blog to share this really great book and tell you that I think you should read it.

But as I was writing I realized there was more to this post than that.

This was a post about connection and how we find things in 2013. 

I had not read any of the reviews when I downloaded it. I hadn't seen it featured in a bookstore, because truth be told the last time I set foot in a real life bookstore was in January at the Barnes and Noble on Broadway to hear Ann Leary speak. (for the record I found out about that reading on Facebook)

I only knew that it was a May Indie pick and got featured in People Magazine because Caroline had shared that with her Facebook tribe. I read her posts because she shares good, useful info and often makes me laugh at her take on things. 

It was a tweet by Lee Woodruff, author, contributor to CBS This Morning and savvy social sharer that hooked me in on Friday. 

That's how discoverability happens today. Yes - there is a place for all that coveted traditional press - but what makes ideas and products and yes - great books spread - is good ol' word of mouth recommendations - a Tweet, a Facebook share, a Pin or a + Google.

This is also a post about disconnection. When I stopped all my busyness on Friday to treat myself to a novel the idea was sparked - without them having any idea - by the tweet of two people I really only know through Facebook and Twitter. 

And by that virtual nudge I was reminded that sometimes the only way to connect back with ourselves is to shut it all off. And do something drastically old world. Read fiction. 

So I'm sharing. Generously. Not because I'm being paid to. I'm not. Not because I was sent the book for free.  I wasn't.  Not because I will get something for this. I won't. 

I'm sharing because I can. And that's how people can say thank-you in the digital world.

This novel gave me a much needed respite from a crazy and exhausting week. The story and the characters replenished me, made me think and inspired me to go back to my own art - my unique combination of consulting, teaching and writing.

I'm sharing to say thank you to the author for creating such great art.

I'm sharing because that is the way of the world - and the digital world allows me to share more and do it more quickly.

I'm sharing because it makes me feel good. As did Is This Tomorrow.

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