I struggled with the title of this, but we’ll go with it.
We writers are fragile creatures. We spend hours, days even, inside our own heads, spinning gossamer strands of imagination (yes, I used the word gossamer – even when you’re dealing with dead bodies). And we, or at least I, am constantly plagued with the fear, “What if this sucks?” I’ve accepted it as part of the writer’s lot in life, this fear of being found a fraud.
Last month, I sent a story of mine to a friend. It was my entry to the Black Orchid Novella contest; I hadn’t won, and I was trying to figure out if it was worth saving. I’d just about figured I wouldn’t hear from her until after the new year, when an email arrived.
She loved it. She said I was talented. Those two sentences carried me through the rest of my day, somewhere on cloud nine. I couldn’t have felt better if someone had handed me a million dollars. Seriously. I mean, money is nice and all, but this was unvarnished support and validation. As another friend said, “Say it with me, I don’t suck!”
It struck me that we often don’t think of the power of a kind word, a gift that is so simple to give and literally free. It takes nothing except thought and awareness. This time of year, malls, and the post office, and stores are filled with cranky people wanted to finish their shopping, and send their cards and packages. Think of all the folks behind those counters. They need to keep smiling, even when I’m sure at least some of them want to snap back. You can put a smile on their faces by simply saying, “Merry Christmas,” or whatever your preferred greeting is.
We get so wound up with finding that “perfect” gift. But perfect gifts come from the heart, not the wallet. A “please,” “thank you,” or “you look great today” can brighten someone’s entire mood. And it’s easy to do if we keep our hearts open.
So tell me, have you ever brightened someone’s day with your words, or had someone do the same for you?