The internet is strange. I am on Twitter. So is Margaret Atwood, who I would put on a short list of best living writers. So is Ayelet Waldman, who is an excellent writer in her own right, but is also the wife of Michael Chabon, who probably goes on that list with Margaret Atwood.
Lately, I’ve had a couple of brief Twitter exchanges with Waldman. She even read a blog post of mine (which, frankly, thrills me to no end. I find it very awesome that a writer I respect a lot has read something of mine, even if it isn’t a novel or short story). She also regularly tweets about “Michael” breaking the TV or similar stuff. It’s really weird.
It’s weird because we aren’t conditioned to think of writers as people who go out and work in the yard or accidentally pull a cord out of the TV. Though, of course, that happens. Margaret Atwood regularly asks for tech help.
Imagine Tolstoy’s wife tweeting a picture of him building a clothesline or Wharton asking someone for help with the wiring on her estate.
And look, I get it. At this point, nearly every aspect of my life is somewhere on the internet. Largely because I want agents to publish my book. But also because I like writing about nearly anything. If I suddenly, and very unexpectedly became well-known, I doubt my online presence would change that much.
But it’s still weird to hear about one of the writers who made me want to write bumbling around the house, and it’s still weird that a writer I’ll be teaching in a few months asks what’s up with Twitter bugs. I don’t know if it matters, though. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. Probably, it’s just different. In a way, it makes what these people do more amazing. Because they are human and imperfect and yet still produce beautiful art.