Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why I Love gchatting

I got into an email exchange with a client this morning. We were both hitting "send" every five minute or so.

Finally, I emailed him: You should use your gmail account, I wrote. Then we could have quick little chats and check-ins. And you could have them with . . . too. I keep up with my daughters with gchat and one or two friends.

It's so fast that you write in your talking voice. And, ah, what a voice. Sounds just like you. That talking voice is one we want to hear and readers do too--it's natural, spare, slangy. It's YOU, writing what you would be talking if you weren't gchatting but were, say, on the phone with this person. Talking is writing on the air, says Pat Schneider. OK. So, consider this: Writing is talking on the page.

The chatty voice in your head is going directly onto the screen, while your gremlin nods on your shoulder--unaware there's something happening that he could tear up and spit on.

All chats get saved, automatically. I would suggest you not dwell on this--thinking about "saving" might wake up the gremlin. He'll have a good belch, then smell fresh coffee brewing in his little dark kitchen full of knives.

Prompt: Have a dialogue with your gremlin. And if you don't know what a gremlin is, you're lucky. But you probably do have one and just call it something else--the censor, killjoy, &%$*$#!

In the following quote, replace 'say' with 'gchat':
"If you say what's on your mind in the language that comes to you from your parents and your street and friends," writes Grace Paley, "you'll probably say something beautiful."

And real.

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