When I was a child I daydreamed all the time about talking to my favorite writers.
While I was toiling for hours over my own horrible manuscripts, I would wonder to myself what wisdom they would impart onto me if I ever mustered up the courage to write to them.
Writers back then were these mystical figures I imagined as silhouettes, tapping away at a typewriter in a clocktower alone all day everyday.
Their lives were a mystery to me and the only connection I had to them was their work. I could only speculate as to what they did all day, what their hobbies were, what their childhood was like.
Now that I’m adult we have social media, and authors can communicate directly with their readers (and vice versa) at the push of a button…….
I wish they could go back to being silhouettes in clocktowers.
Perhaps it’s because I’m an adult now (technically), but I’ve lost that desire to know more about the people that create the works I read. In fact, I seldom follow well-known authors on any social media platform.
When it comes to famous authors, their social media platforms are usually divided into one of two categories: generic/bland or annoying/repetitive.
The authors in the first camp usually post motivational platitudes about determination and never giving up on your dreams. This on, the surface, isn’t a bad thing, but when that’s all they ever post it’s like “are you a real person, or are you an AI that’s been programed to monitor human behavior?”
The authors in the other camp are the ones that believe that because they are the creators of a universe that doesn’t exist, they know absolutely everything about everything and must, therefore, inform the poor plebeians about what to think. In addition, it would seem they have to tell their readers absolutely everything that is going on with their lives.
“Getting my nails done!”
“Some guy at the mall said something rude to me.”
“Obsessing over (insert popular show here)!”
I miss being able to imagine what my favorite authors were like because the authors themselves became part of the fantasy. They were just as metaphysical as the characters they wrote. They were untapped pools of mystery and wisdom.
Now that you can learn just about anything there is to know about a person with a quick Google search, the desire for knowledge is gone.
Nobody is interesting anymore.
They’ve become too accessible.
Perhaps I’m just longing for the days when I was more young and naive to the ways of the world. Back when I thought writers were these heroes of myth that brushed hands with the gods and had their lives together. Now that I’m older and social media has pulled back the curtain, I’ve been exposed to the naked truth. Or at least the naked, slightly airbrushed truth.
Writers are mortal.
They’re people with flaws and stupid opinions.
And those stupid opinions might discourage me from reading their books.Books I might need those in my life without realizing it.
As such, I choose not to peek behind the curtain.
I think I’ll stick to my clocktower.