Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Drive-by Friends

Feature writers are nosey and we like it. We talk to experts and regular folks, asking question after question (often rather personal questions, too), and the individuals answer. That puts good writers in an interesting position.

Most of us don't take advantage of being an emotional-insider by including on-the-record information that would make someone look, well, stupid. But in a short, intense time, we've become a sort of confidante to a fastinating person. We may even know that person better than our siblings.

So what do we do with that? Usually nothing beyond an article or two.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I recently asked a fellow writer if he keeps in touch with his subjects. He shook his head sadly. No time, he said. He's on to the next story. Then he looked into the distance, and I wondered if he was remembering some of those drive-by "friends" he'd made. I remembered a few of mine, too.