I just drove to Saratoga Springs for the day to talk with someone who had already e-mailed me comprehensive feedback on a project. I got a ton of information from the line edits of my new novel, and my friend, author Lâle Davidson, wrote a very clear summary of her overall impressions.
So why did I drive for seven hours with Mica in the back seat and the nagging feeling that I should be sitting in Brooklyn being productive? It’s because my in-person interactions with Lâle are so inspiring. There’s an energy about face-to-face dialog that provides nuance to information and the real-time interaction allows fine-tuning of understanding.
Anyone who has had a fight or hurt someone’s feelings in an email exchange that tripped on a misunderstanding of a comment’s tone knows the limitations of online speak. This is not to discredit sound advice like that found in Austin Kleon’s Steal Like and Artist, where he explains how his connections on line give him freedom to work anywhere and have a community of inspiration. But I have always found even online connections get more juicy when I get a chance to finally meet the person.
I have lots of email interactions, and there are times I don’t need to see someone in person, but I’m dismayed at how rarely I get to see colleagues and even my “best” friends. Our pace and the fatigue from traveling is taking its toll on personal interactions. So I’m trying to have more. Because they’re inspiring.