Sunday, December 19, 2010


A while ago I aranged to meet a friend I hadn’t seen for eight years for coffee. Since we’d last spoken Daisy (not her real name) had made some major changes in her life: selling her house, packing up her cats and, with her spouse, moving to big sky cowboy country to begin a new life as a sculptor. 

Daisy, looking as pretty as ever, just a little stressed around the edges, was early. We soon got settled at a table, ordered and picked up our conversation where we’d left off eight years previously.  She grumbled about how hard it was to make a name for herself and get her work known and sold.

    “Have you tried Twitter?  It’s good for that.”
    Her face contorted with contempt.
    “Oh please. What a monumental waste of time.”
    “No, really, it works. You can connect with like-minded sculptors who could give you advice and tips and contacts.”
    “No, I don’t think so. I hate email.”
    “It’s not email.”

    “Well, I hate any internet thing that demands my attention.”
    “It doesn’t demand anything. You just put it in the corner of the screen and look at it when you want to and respond to Tweets if you want to.”

    It’s practically impossible to explain Twitter without sounding like a lunatic: It's like the world talking to its self, it's like friends reading different bits of the Sunday paper together.
    “You have to try it to figure out how it will work for you.”
    “No, I don’t think so. It sounds ridiculous.”

    "Just small effort for a big pay off."
    “No. I know that if I work hard enough and I’m brave and tenacious enough, I will succeed,” she concluded fiercely. 

But life isn’t that equitable. Life doesn’t give toss about hard work or bravery or good intentions. Luck and rich relatives are more useful to artists than virtues. Not that Daisy doesn’t deserve to succeed, she definitely does, she has the talent and the tenacity. But, understanding that life is sometimes ugly and cruel can prevent a lot of disappointment. 

I felt bad that I hadn’t been able to persuade her to try Twitter, such a terrific resource for what she wanted to do. You can lead a sculptor to stone but you can’t make her chip. I wished we’d had the time to talk about the joy of creating and how we always have that even if our art is appreciated only by a few connoisseurs.


Kath said...

I really hope your friend Daisy reads this post. If she's unhappy living where she is, Twitter could help with that, let alone be a great way of getting the message out about her art. It's a good means of reaching out and connecting with like-minded people to talk to when you can't meet them in person. And I love your analogy for Twitter - it is a lot like sharing sections of the newspaper with friends!

Sharon Longworth said...

Couldn't agree more. I was deeply suspicious of Twitter at first, but am completely sold on it now.

Nora Lumiere said...

Kath - I doubt if she'll read the post, she's deeply suspicious of blogs too.

Sharon - Twitter is what we make it and even then it's impossible to explain.

John L said...

I read recently that only 6 percent of people in the US are on Twitter. I find that surprising, because it really is a useful tool, and it's been around long enough for people to discover it. I've made more professional contacts on Twitter than I ever did with my website or Facebook. But it can also be a distraction from actual work, so you have to find balance.

Nora Lumiere said...

I hope Daisy reads your comment, Twitter could be so helpful to her.
And I don't think she'd allow it to be a distraction either, she's too disciplined for that.