A year or so ago I accepted a challenge to write 500 words a day for a month. It was not difficult to churn out that many words—in fact I’d made it a successful practice for years at a time in the past. Writing every day was not the problem, it was figuring out what to write that was the biggest hurdle. The thought of stringing together a cohesive batch of 500-words-a-day entries was simply more than I could consider; it was like pushing my head against a brick wall. I finally landed on the idea of writing about the Best Thing that Happened Today; it was something I could do, and did do for the 30 days. It was a good series and occasionally I return to the idea when I just need to write something.
Fast forward to August 2015. In spite of this being a full week with several remarkable experiences I have a new Best Thing to write about for this post:
While I was at work my personal cell phone vibrated with a new message alert. It was a co-worker, and the voice message went (mostly) like this:
“Hi, it’s me. I want to talk to you about that poem you wrote this spring. That is such an important piece of writing—it made a deep impact on me. I want to share it with a woman I know, she writes for a local big-name organization and has a writing group. I told her all about it and she’s very interested in seeing it, and in meeting you. But I need your permission. Would it be alright for me to share with her? Call me.”
Here’s what made that message a Best Thing:
- For the first time in a while I had written a poem that felt complete.
- It took courage to confidently share my work with my peers (non-writers who were not guaranteed to “get” what I was doing).
- My poem resonated with this person, enough that she felt compelled to share it (and was asking permission!).
The third point is the best part for me. It will be great if I get to meet another writer, and maybe other writers as well, but the golden, glittering, glowing moment is to hear a voice saying, “What you wrote matters to me and I know that it will matter to others as well.”
That friends, is Encouragement with a capital E.