My Thoughts on Fan Mail
I don’t usually publish any of the emails or “fan” letters that I get. Mainly because most of them are personal, and are asking for advice, and I know that those girls probably wouldn’t be comfortable with their questions and confessions out there on the internet for the whole world to see. But I thought I might make an exception today. Because, the truth is, these letters offer me so much encouragement and it would be selfish not to share some of that with you!
So now I have to go way back in my email archives, Facebook messages, and letter box to round up all the notes and pick a few favorites. I think the ones that came in the mail are some of the best. As much as I love getting emails, there’s something really special about getting a letter from a reader in the mail. It feels so heart-felt, you know?
Oh, and before I forget, my friends ask me sometimes how I feel about getting “fan mail”, and you may be wondering the same thing. The truth? It can be a little awkward. I usually say a quick, heartfelt “thanks” and then do my best to answer all the questions the reader sent me. But I always find it really sweet and a great letter has been known to boost my spirits on many a day. It’s very touching to think about someone in another state or country taking the time to write and encourage me, and it gets me through those stressful, tough moments in my writing life. So, while it’s just embarrassing enough that I don’t usually write about whatever “fan mail” I receive, I always appreciate it and I love getting to chat with the people who send it! 🙂
Anyway, here are a few of my favorite snippets from my “fan mail” pile over the past year. 😉 Hopefully you will find encouragement from it, too!
Christine wrote me about a year ago and started off with, “I know you must get many emails exactly like this. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll be the lucky one who gets an answer!” I received that email before my book was even out in stores! I didn’t tell Christine at the time, but it was the first fan letter I ever got and I was smiling ear to ear that whole afternoon. Lame, I know… 😉
A girl named Stacia messaged me on Facebook after reading a review of my book in Girl’s Life Magazine. Her message made me smile because she told me, “When I found out your age, I was amazed! I have never even considered trying to get anything I ever wrote published. Until now. I am currently in the process of talking with my Grandma and my parents to try to go forth with it.” It always makes my day when someone writes to tell me that they’re going to try to get published after hearing about me or reading my book/blog. Way cool, Stacia. Oh, and she also added, “Thank you for showing me that you don’t have to be an adult, or professional writer, but just a normal teen with a normal life who loves to write.” No problem! 🙂
One of the best compliments I have ever gotten came from an email from a girl named Skye, who I happen to know is a follower of my blog. Hi, Skye! Anyway, I literally laughed out loud when I got Skye’s email. She straight out told me, “I absolutely adore your blog. You’re funny, witty, and a great writer. I have to admit that when I first heard about you, I was so jealous. Mostly because you were a year younger than me and already a published author ‘gasps’ it’s like too good to be true. Anyway after reading your blog, I felt happy for you because you deserve it, so now I can say without even a hint of jealousy.” I’m jealous of you, Skye! I wish I could write emails that sweet and awesome. You know exactly what to say to make me smile. So thanks. 🙂 And I still need to get around you reading your book… I wasn’t counting on all the edits I had to do this summer.
Sarah (another blog follower–yay!) wrote me once asking for some basic advice about believing in herself and staying confident. (I really need to write a blog entry about that sometime…) I loved what she said in her email: “I am truly inspired by your success at publishing your first book while so young. I’m fourteen years old and I’ve been writing books since I could hold a pencil. My dream is to have my first book published before I turn 16, so I was thrilled to see that you succeeded because that gives me such hope!”
Okay, so this is getting a little long so maybe just one more quote? This one is from a recent email I received from a girl named Anna. It made me smile, and I ended up reading it out loud to my whole family, which is really rare. Anna had all kinds of uplifting things to encouraging me with, but I think this was my favorite part of her email: “The main reason I decided to write to you was to encourage you. I greatly admire the courage you possess in navigating the publishing world, and your integrity shines through your blog and your book. Even though I may never have the pleasure of meeting you, I’m honored to call you a sister in Christ, and I’m praying for your ministry. I may be a couple years older than you, but I look up to you. You inspire me to pursue my own calling to be a writer and reach teens with the hope found in Christ. Though I’m not yet published, your story uplifts me and reminds me how, when we live for God, great things can happen.”
Amen. I couldn’t have said it better myself.