Sunday, January 2, 2011

Call Waiting; Thought Waiting.....

I love it that writers are on the same PAGE.

We interrupt, shush, and ignore each other. We ‘cut-off’ each other mid-conversation/email. Why? To preserve a writerly thought - an idea. Before the other person can utter another word making us loose that paramount idea forever, we MUST get it down, even if it means tossing all manners aside. It’s understood; we get it. It’s an unspoken rule, and no apology or forgiveness is ever needed.

And if your writer friend suddenly stares off into space as you recount your marvellous, newly discovered technique of how to trim your cat’s claws, don’t be offended – she isn’t bored with your story. She is just having writerly thoughts.

Most recently, my writer friend (a fellow blogger) and I were having a quick chat on email, and something she said inspired her. She had a writerly, or more specifically, a bloggable thought, and had to run to expand on it, thus promptly ending our email conversation. I didn’t respond to her last email - I didn’t want to make her feel obliged to read and respond thereby interrupting her thought.

No problem; no hard feelings. I get it – I’m with ya on that one, sister.

Alternately, I hate that call-waiting thing with a passion. Maybe it’s because I was left on the ‘line’ one too many times many years ago when call-waiting on private household phones was invented. Patiently waiting for the person to finish their call with the person on the OTHER line (I called FIRST), I would sit and wait. And wait. And wait. Out of frustration and hurt (never mind the need to pee) I would finally hang up. I don’t hold a grudge, but still waters run deep and all that...

Being put on hold when calling a business, however, is a different story. The concept is guaranteed, and you’re naive if you think it won’t happen to you. Although lengthy and time consuming, your frustration skyrockets if the music playing is not to your liking. And then to no one listening on the other end, except for the sporadic recorded ‘thank you for holding, your business is important to us – please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly’ greeting, you curse the company, curse the phones, and swear to never allow yourself to be put on hold EVER again! (Not that I have ever done that!)

But holding while the receptionist confirms my earlobe-lift appointment is a different story. NO problem - THAT, I can handle.

And at least if you are on the phone with a writer friend (although rare because we are too busy ignoring each other), if a writerly thought does come up, we can write it down in silence, and still stay on the line.

What do you think hands-free phones are for?

There are no awkward silences while on the phone with a writer friend – we are WRITING! And no, this is not some lame excuse fabricated to chat on the phone during our writing/working hours. This is what writers do; chat, bounce ideas off each other, support each other, and nurture each other’s self-esteem. And then, when convenient, promptly ignore each other in the name of creativity, throwing everything our mothers and Miss. Manners taught us out the window.

My friend's 'bloggable thought' interruption was welcomed, embraced, and cherished. It is said that the business of writing is not for the faint of heart, so if you hope to make it in the writing world, toughen up and get used to being ignored/shushed/cut-off - and love it. We are like folk – the community of writers share a common bond, and receiving this kind of treatment means you are welcomed.

Now go away – I just had another bloggable thought.

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