I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hate being bothered. I know, I know, it sounds awful, selfish, self-centered. I love to talk, to know people actually care whether or not I exist, and as someone who is fortunate enough to work from home, I often find myself feeling as if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth and no one really noticed. But still…I hate to be bothered.
When my husband bought me my first (and only) smartphone, I was ecstatic to be able to receive e-mail wherever I was instead of waiting, sometimes hours, to access my account from home and see who needed what (especially important since e-mail is how I receive my day job projects). Then I discovered texting—instant gratification! But the more I used these convenient features, the more I realized people expected me to be available twenty-four/seven. And though I enjoy being in touch with people, I also realized I didn’t like being in touch that much. :)
The other night, while cooking dinner, my teenager was receiving text after text from a friend on her flip phone (and yes, she complains constantly that she doesn’t have something more sophisticated). She was getting more and more frustrated, and I finally asked her what the problem was. She said she hated it that her friends expected her to be instantly available. WOW! We actually agree on something! Which is really odd, because she is a social butterfly, and I am most definitely a homebody.
It seems sometimes that, the more we are connected, the lonelier we are. We expect everyone to be available at the touch of a button, but what we communicate often lacks depth, dimension. A true connection comes not necessarily from quantity but from quality. To feel like others remember I exist, I don’t need a hundred messages about nothing. I need one message that touches my heart. And while my daughter loves multiple messages, if none of them touch her heart, her need for connection isn’t met either.
I hope in some small way I am able to bring that touch of heart to my books. I can read a hundred books that skim the surface of human emotion and, though they might be fun, I don’t really feel satisfied. But it only takes one book that delves the depths of passion, hunger, pain, joy, and I feel as if my heart has been touched and my need for connection is filled, at least until the next book comes along. ;) That’s the book I want to write. That’s the book I want to give you—a book that is more than fluff; a book that feeds the need for connection.
*Photos by moyan_brenn and katerha.