"The Art of Asking." It's the title of the TED talk that Amanda Palmer gave, talking about the relationship between musician and fan. It's a great talk, and Amanda says a lot of things that are well worth listening to and thinking about.
(Watch it. Really.)
One of the things that really resonated with me in her talk was the idea that there is a connection between the artist and the fan, that when that connection is made, it's a way of seeing each other. It kept calling to mind this quote from the novel Howards End, by E. M. Forster:
"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer."
Here is Forster himself, talking about writing novels. Two things from this brief excerpt stuck out for me. When he explains why he stopped writing, he says that part of the reason was "the social aspect of the world changed very much." And when he talks about what is in his writing, he says, "and anyone who has read my books will see what I high value I attach to personal relationships."
Here is one more thing I want to add to this mix of things that I am thinking about, in terms of art and connection. It's Chuck Wendig's post in response to Amanda's talk, where he ponders whether the philosophy she's set out can work for writers as well: