I got the loveliest email last month. It was from Autumn Lubin, a woman I’ve never met, who recognized my name in an article about a writing fellowship. She works with foreclosure intervention counselors who work with families facing foreclosure, and here’s part of what she wrote:
I start each of my classes by reading your poem "Smaller." One of my clients is the Family Housing Fund and I carry that little book of Home Sweet Home Again poetry all over the country. However, yours is the only one I read. It always brings a hush over the room and then nods of understanding. As a fellow writer, I just wanted you to know that your words find a home in my students’ hearts…Through your words, you have added inspiration as they change the world.
I just thought you should know the power of your heart through your words.
This email really touched me. It made me think, too, about how I’m often telling people online that I like their books. But when was the last time I wrote a total stranger to let him or her know how their words had moved me? Changed the way I felt. Changed the way I looked at something. Affected me in a way stronger than just, "I really liked it." I can’t think of the last time. Can you?
Sometime during the next two weeks, I’m going to choose some words (by a living writer) that have moved me recently. And then I’m going to write a letter or email to whoever wrote those words. Want to join me? Let’s let some writers know the power of their words! They may not know it themselves.