On the Slow, Deliberate Making of a Story

August 19, 2014 § 3 Comments

5d951-dani-23Dani Shapiro writes for The New Yorker on how forging a literary memoir is different from posting to social media, which can often feel “thin and undigested, a skimming over of data rather than a deep sink into the specificity and emotional reality of human experience.” Here is an excerpt followed by a link to her powerful, brilliant, brief piece:

My parents were in a car crash in 1986 that killed my father and badly injured my mother. If social media had been available to me at the time, would I have posted the news on Facebook? Tweeted it to my followers as I stood on line to board the flight home? Instead of sitting numbly on the plane, with the help of several little bottles of vodka, would I have purchased a few hours of air time with Boingo Wi-Fi and monitored the response—the outpouring of kindness, a deluge of “likes,” mostly from strangers? And ten years later, would I have been compelled to write a memoir about that time in my life? Or would I have felt that I’d already told the story by posting it as my status update?

Dani Shapiro’s full piece can be read here.


§ 3 Responses to On the Slow, Deliberate Making of a Story

  • Mom says:

    I love this piece. I will be sharing it with my Writer’s group today. We have discussed several times the idea of writing in the moment, using “explosion,” and then going back to it…later, when a writer’s head and hand can craft the right words into sentences to give readers a front row seat to that moment. And, Facebook isn’t all that bad when used in moderation, like an author’s tiramisu…feeling a slump, lonely? have a “like” 🙂

  • sissyjupe2 says:

    Love the way you write. Great article. I’ve been having some of these same thought and actually decided to give FB a break- maybe forever. I have started calling and texting people personally – a rewarding and richer experience. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sophie James says:

    I feel unwilling to ‘like’ this for all the reasons she mentions. A very thought-provoking piece. And beautifully expressed.

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