Neil Gaiman is my (Internet) homie

I’ve always had this idea that when famous people who I admire win awards, they have kind of a blow-on-fingers buff-on-shirt moment and then go on about their fabulous and successful lives. I also imagine that my favorite writers sit down to write, and it’s no big deal, and they are very confident and have no demons thwarting their efforts, and they just plod through and write amazing things (all with perfect grammar and no need to edit or revise).

This is why I love the Internet.

I love following authors’ blogs and Twitter streams and seeing day to day that these people I admire deal with similar pressures and hangups and interruptions via Facebook and snacks. Being a writer is one of those can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees situations. When you’re thick in it, you are very alone. No one has ever felt this useless or untalented or irrelevant until this person, this day, at this keyboard. And no one has ever felt as magnificent as that other day when you wrote that one line that sparkled, and that scene came out just how you intended. (Although today, the sparkle of that line is in question, and you’re not quite sure about that scene, and so it goes….) It is lonely, and it’s nice to feel a sense of community, particularly with your idols, even if it’s somewhat (well, mostly) imagined (see fictional meals with authors I admire).

I was so excited yesterday to find out Neil Gaiman won the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book. What was more exciting was getting this news directly from Neil Gaiman via Twitter. How cool is this world?

Thanks to Neil Gaiman’s blog entry, I have a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the moment he found out he won. It’s so great to be able to “witness” that moment through the author’s POV, and not filtered through some silly interview questions that never quite get to the things I actually want to know or that I don’t even know I want to know, like how he had to make a conscious effort not to swear. I’d probably be thinking about how I should have brushed my teeth before answering the phone or something, like the Newbery committee could actually smell and be offended by my rank morning breath over the telephone wires. You know, these things that cross your mind. (I’ve imagined these moments for myself once or twice: first offer, first advance copy of novel – hell, I even romanticize getting my first rejection letter!)

I remember a scene in Sex and the City when the technologically illiterate Carrie learns to IM and, when a boyfriend IMs her, she ducks as if he can see her through the computer screen. I know that feeling. And I don’t know how I got from there to here, but it pretty much sums up the voyeuristic offerings of the Internet. And I mean voyeurism in a good way that makes you feel not so alone. Although there is the slightly overboard brand of voyeurism (that we’re probably all a little guilty of) also summed up by Mr. Neil Gaiman in the song “I Google You” (for which he wrote the lyrics) that I seem to always have in my head.

So there you have it: voyeurism good and voyeurism creepy but sometimes inevitable, both brought to you by Neil Gaiman, my Internet BFF – at least in my mind.

Congrats, buddy!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] wrote about Neil Gaiman’s blog a while back (here). His writing is just lovely, first of all. Besides that, he answers readers’ questions, […]

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