Go Ahead, Make My Day


If you like someone’s writing, TELL THEM! This is not a plea for stroking my ego, I promise.

In Carolyn See’s Making a Literary Life, she says to write charming notes, physical letters of appreciation you send to people whose work you admire. The idea of doing this was mortifying to me. Sure, I know that the person on the receiving end would probably appreciate it, but the idea was just so daunting. I can’t put my finger why, just that it was so daunting that several years after reading her book, I still haven’t written a single charming note. I think that will have to change.

After writer’s group tonight, I told someone how much I enjoyed his story. He said he couldn’t wait to get home and read my comments (we write comments on the print-outs in addition to discussing the pieces aloud)…that he read my comments first and then again after he finished reading everyone else’s. I was flabbergasted.

I thought that he didn’t like my comments. That, because his own writing is so fluid and beautiful and literary, he’d look down on my pleas for more pedestrian explanations as terrible and coarse and commercial.

My surprise must have shown because he explained he had a little writer crush…and then he dashed out of the room before I could say anything.

That put a spring in my step!

And it’s about time I start complimenting people I admire.

4 thoughts on “Go Ahead, Make My Day

  1. bethfinke

    Is it important that the notes be “physical letters” of appreciation? My guess is that it’s the addressing of the envelope and affixing a stamp that is stopping you. Might a simple email message do the trick?

    • I think you’re right, Beth. It might be the physical part that’s freaking me out. I’ll start with a blog comment, work my way up to an email and then, maybe, just maybe write an actual letter.

  2. I find it super daunting too! I mean, it took me forever just to start commenting on blogs. Definitely something to consider though. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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