Our dishwasher is always empty. Not because I’m prompt at emptying it, or because it sucks and what’s the point. I banned usage of the thing for obliging me to work tomorrow.
I have long wished I could fire my email. I already have retired my voicemail. Like the dishwasher, an inbox rarely promises good times ahead.
And then I had a change of heart. When Ben and I signed a deal with Simon and Shuster, I met a new breed of emailers: publishers.
I had to pause and sniff the roses.
Cap-locks on adjectives. Why how NICE, how REFRESHING.
Paragraph after paragraph that managed not to ramble. How respectful of my time.
Carefully crafted sentences that hold your hand and explain things calmly. No words spared to soothe and encourage. How GENEROUS.
Italics used on verbs because you’re so excited and you can’t wait to talk to me again.
Oh, the giddy thrill of letters. Folded up notes, stuffed in the school desks and pockets. Word-searches. Clues. Poems. Multi-coloured pens. This treasure sent to me over the years from my supremely talented and very sticker-happy uncle, Bruce Phelan:
Embellishment and interactivity of language- I’ve never associated these things with email, especially work email. I swooned to receive words on a silver platter.
I admit I am often guilty of rationing talk and nursing assumptions in this the age of mobile typing. Well-chosen words can make such an impact.
Think about it- how you’re asked for something affects how you feel about doing it, ranging from slave to a goddess.
That’s probably why I fired my dishwasher. Limited to the words on it’s buttons, it was only capable of reminding me that for the foreseeable future there would be more loading and unloading to do.
Tomorrow doesn’t need to seem so bleak, so in my next email I will throw in some pixy dust and see what happens.This article was originally published Nov 30th on my personal blog.